For the second time this season, a goal was the difference as the Washington Spirit topped the Houston Dash, 1-0.
The difference in the matchup at BBVA Compass Stadium came in the 62nd minute as forward Jodie Taylor found the back of the net. While the goal was a Taylor’s seventh of the season, the set up came on unusual circumstances.
After a Houston shot was blocked by the Spirit, Washington faced a two against three counter attack. Instead of pulling back and waiting trailing players to join the attach, newly acquired Lisa De Vanna brought up the ball and stopped freezing two Dash defenders. De Vanna then found Taylor on the other side of the field and delivered a through ball to the edge of the box. Taylor got past Marissa Diggs and chipped Erin McLeod for the goal. The tally puts her into fourth place in the NWSL scoring race.
Despite only one goal on the scoreboard, both teams had numerous chances to find the back of the net. Dash rookie Kealia Ohai showed off why she was the second pick in the draft as she created many of the Houston scoring opportunities in the opening half. Ohai turned past Spirit defender Robyn Gayle and found Ella Masar inside the six-yard box but the 27-year-old’s shot was saved by a diving Ashlyn Harris.
The victory snaps Washington’s three-game losing streak that saw the team surrender 10 goals, including six to Portland, and pulls the team into third place in the standings. Houston’s loss is the second in the Dash’s last three games after the Dash earned its first winning streak as a franchise.
The two teams return to action Wednesday as the Houson Dash travel to Sky Blue while the Spirit return home to face the Boston Breakers.
WASH- Jodie Taylor (7)- 62′
WASH- Ashlyn Harris, Robyn Gayle (Crystal Dunn 67), Ali Krieger, Alex Singer, Tori Huster, Yael Averbuch (Christine Nairn 59), Tori Lindsey, Niki Cross, Diana Matheson, Jodie Taylor, Lisa De Vanna (Kerstin Garefrekes 79).
HOU- Erin McLeod, Arianna Romero, Whitney Engen, Osinachi Ohale (Marissa Diggs 45), Stephanie Ochs, Becky Edwards, Kaylyn Kyle, Nina Burger (Kika Toulouse 59), Kealia Ohai, Ella Masar, Tiffany McCarty (Lindsay Elston 74).