Houston gains three points with the win and improves to 23 points on the season. Washington drops to on the season. The match was pushed back 15 hours from the originally slated kickoff time of 7 p.m. Saturday evening but was postponed until Sunday at 10 a.m. due to the field conditions being unplayable Saturday.
A 3rd minute goal from Rachel Daly was the difference in the contest. Daly connected on a volley played into the box by Sofia Huerta and placed her shot just past the charging Aubrey Bledsoe in goal for the Spirit. Daly netted her third goal of the season against Washington.
After the goal, the game’s momentum quickly turned. The Spirit statistically dominated the remainder of the contest, owning 58.8 percent of the possession. The Spirit outshot the Dash 24 to 10, and placed nine shots on target compared to Houston’s two shots on goal. Washington completed over 140 more passes than Houston.
Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra deployed a new look 3-1-4-2 lineup against Houston with a back-three of Tori Huster, Estelle Johnson, and Rebecca Quinn from left to right with Andi Sullivan playing a defensive midfield role ahead of the three defenders. The duo of Caprice Dydasco and Taylor Smith played as outside midfielders and maintained a key role on both offense and defense. Meggie Dougherty Howard and Estefania Banini started the game in central midfield behind Ashley Hatch and Francisca Ordega up top.
After conceding the early goal, Washington nearly equalized in the 8th minute. Smith’s initial shot down the right side was saved which bounced to Banini. Banini’s off-balanced shot was also saved by Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell, her first two of nine saves in the game.
Smith had another chance in the 25th minute, but was once again had her shot saved by Campbell. Hatch in the 31st minute and Dydasco in the 32nd minute each narrowly missed scoring for the Spirit.
The Spirit nearly equalized once again in the 81st minute on a rocket off the right foot of Hatch. Once again, the Houston goalkeeper Campbell’s full extension save kept Washington off the scoreboard.
In the 85th minute, on one of the Spirit’s 11 corner kicks, a short ball played to Dydasco then served in found the head of Spirit substitute Havana Solaun, where her header went inches wide of the post.
Hatch led the team with a season-high seven shots, two of which were on target. Johnson led the team in both clearances (five) and blocks (two).
The Spirit hits the road for another three-game road trip beginning Sunday, August 5 at Seattle Reign FC. The team returns home Wednesday, August 22 for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Utah Royals FC [TICKETS].
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash
Date: July 22, 2018
Venue: Maryland Soccerplex
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET
Weather: Clear, Low 70s
Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 0 0
Houston 1 0 1
HOU – Rachel Daly (Sofia Huerta) 3’
WAS (3-5-3): Aubrey Bledsoe; Estelle Johnson (c); Tori Huster; Rebecca Quinn; Caprice Dydasco; Andi Sullivan; Meggie Dougherty Howard (Joanna Lohman, 81’); Taylor Smith; Estefania Banini (Mallory Eubanks, 62’); Francisca Ordega (Havana Solaun, 75’); Ashley Hatch
Subs not used: Kelsey Wys; DiDi Haracic; Whitney Church; Mallory Pugh
CHI (4-2-3-1): Jane Campbell; Taylor Comeau; Janine van Wyk (Veronica Latsko, 27’); Amber Brooks (c); Lindsay Agnew; Linda Motlhalo; Rachel Daly; Sofia Huerta; Savannah Jordan (Haley Hanson, 73’); Clare Polkinghorne; Thembi Kgatlana (Nichelle Prince, 77’)
Subs not used: Michaela Hahn; Kimberly Keever; Meleana Shim; Sammy Jo Prudhomme
Stats Summary: WAS / HOU
Possession: 58.8 / 41.2 %
Shots: 24 / 10
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 11 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 9
Offside: 0 / 3
Misconduct Summary: None
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Osterhouse
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Lock
Fourth Official: Karl Kummer