Facing the largest crowd in their young history, the Houston Dash fell to the league-leading Chicago Red Stars, who spoiled the party thanks to a winning goal from Jen Hoy for a 2-1 win July 12.
The 13,025 fans who packed BBVA Compass Stadium to welcome back seven players from the World Cup champion U.S. team, including Golden Ball and Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd were honored. Lloyd and her U.S. teammates did not suit up for the match after a week of travel, media appearances and a ticker-tape parade in New York City on July 10.
With the match tied, 1-1, Hoy gave the visitors the lead for good five minutes after the equalizing goal. Chicago rookies Arin Gilliland and Sofia Huerta earned a corner kick and a poor clearance ultimately doomed the Dash.
Just outside the box, Rachel Quon headed the ball back inside toward the scrum. Hoy took a high first touch to get herself open and fired a left-footed shot inside the right post for the win.
Houston came out shaky in front of the energetic crowd. After getting multiple chances, the Red Stars found the opening goal in the 19th minute from Vanessa DiBernardo. Bernardo, who leads the league with five assists, found herself on the receiving end of a pass from Alyssa Mautz. The goal was the 23-year-old’s second of the season. Mautz found space down the right side of the field and crossed a low ball into the box. The pass fell to DiBernardo, who powered a shot that Houston goalkeeper Erin McCleod could not get a hand on.
Despite the loss, Houston came out aggressive to begin the final half. The stadium awoke in the 57th minute when Tiffany McCarty found an equalizer. Kealia Ohai found space on the far side of the field and delivered a high cross toward the far post. Alone after a miscommunication between Abby Erceg and Michele Dalton, McCarty headed the into the ground and had it bounce in for a goal.
The victory propels Chicago back into a tie atop the NWSL standings with the Seattle Reign while Houston finds itself four points from a playoff position.
Houston Dash (3-4-4; 13 points) vs. Chicago Red Stars (6-1-3; 21 points)
July 12, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Chicago Red Stars: Vanessa DiBernaro 2 (Alssa Mautz 1) 19
Houston Dash: Tiffany McCarty 1 (Kealia Ohai 3) 57
Chicago Red Stars: Jen Hoy 3 (unassisted) 61
CHI: Danielle Colaprico (caution) 3
HOU: Ellie Brush (caution) 84
HOU: Erin McLeod; Ella Masar © (Jen LaPonte 66), Ellie Brush, Toni Pressley, Camila Pereira (Jordan Jackson 77); Melissa Henderson, Niki Cross, Rachael Axon (Allie Bailey 46), Tiffany McCarty; Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald
CHI: Michele Dalton; Arin Gilliland, Abby Erceg, Tayrn Hemmings, Samantha Johnson; Alyssa Mautz (Melissa Tancredi 72), Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, Rachel Quon (Cara Walls 90+3); Sofia Huerta, Jen Hoy (Michelle Lomnicki 83)