Utah Royals FC won their second match in club history Saturday against the Houston Dash, ending with a score line of 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. A crucial goal by Forward Erika Tymrak—assisted by Midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir—marked the only goal of the game, while Goalkeeper Abby Smith took home her fourth clean sheet - and the sixth of her young NWSL career - for the squad.
While URFC only once, it dominated the match against the Houston side, holding 63% possession, and nearly doubled the total passes throughout the game– 557 passes to Houston’s 310. The team controlled the run of play throughout both halves, registering an 80% passing accuracy, included Defender Becky Sauerbrunn ending in a 97% passing accuracy.
Amid the dominating play in the first half, Gunny Jonsdottir sent a throughball into the box for a streaking Forward Amy Rodriguez, who was clipped from behind just moments after receiving the ball. Forward Diana Matheson stepped up to take the penalty kick, but USWNT Jane Campbell blocked the shot, ending the half scoreless.
Erika Tymrak changed the momentum midway through the game, placing a shot into the side-netting in the 51st minute. The play started on a counterattack, initiated by Jonsdottir, as the Icelandic international ran through Houston’s midfield, pulling multiple white jerseys to the far-side of the pitch. Before entering the box, Gunny passed the ball across to a feinting Rodriguez, who let the ball slide past her into the waiting feet of Tymrak – who coolly slipped the ball past Campbell’s diving arms.
URFC will be looking for three points as they head to Providence Park next Friday, May 25, to take on the 2017 NWSL Cup Champions, Portland Thorns FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT, and will include USWNT stars like Midfielder Tobin Heath taking on Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez.
#UTAvHOU - Rio Tinto Stadium - May 18, 2018
Weather: Overcast, 71 F
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 1 1
Houston Dash 0 0 0
UTA: Tymrak, 51’
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Abby Smith, Brooke Elby (Katie Bowen, 83’), Rachel Corsie, Becky Sauerbrunn, Becca Moros, Desiree Scott, Gunny Jonsdottir, Katrina Gorry, Erika Tymrak, Amy Rodriguez (Katie Stengel, 85’), Diana Matheson (Taylor Lytle, 67’)
Subs not used: Nicole Barnhart, Lo’eau LaBonta, Sydney Miramontez, Brittany Ratcliffe
Houston Dash: (4-3-3): Jane Campbell, Allysha Chapman, Amber Brooks, Janine Van Wyk, Kimberly Keever, Kristie Mewis, Haley Hanson, Kyah Simon (Linda Mothalo, 72’)Rachel Daly, Kealia Ohai (Veronica Latsko, 63’), Nichelle Prince (Thembi Kgatlana, 81’)
Subs not used: Bianca Henninger, Lindsay Agnew, Mana Shim, Savannah Jordan.
Stats Summary: UTA / HOU
Shots: 18 / 7
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 0 / 0
UTA: Brooke Elby, 9’ (Caution)
HOU: Rachel Daly, 12’ (Caution)
UTA: Diana Matheson, 55’ (Caution)
Center: Eric Tattersall
First Assistant: Jennifer Garner
Second Official: Maggie Short
Fourth: Brad Jensen