On a hot, hot afternoon in Houston, the Houston Dash hosted the Seattle Reign in hopes of finally picking their heads up after three consecutive losses. Seattle battled well in the heat and came away with a 2-0 win, keeping their perfect record over Houston.
Houston comes out strong, but Seattle breaks through
In the first 20 - almost 30 - minutes, it seemed as if Houston would be the ones to find the early goal. Right from the start the home side found themselves on their attacking third more often than not. Although Rachel Daly was positioned at right back, other players were able to step up and create chances for the Dash. Kealia Ohai and Janine Beckie worked well off of each other to create a handful of chances, and their third forward Nichelle Prince even got in on the action, having a few scoring chances herself. The heat took a toll on everyone on the field, Dash and Reign players alike, and injuries also occured on both sides. Daly rolled her ankle in the 15th minute, but was able to continue playing after a few minutes. In the 22nd minute, Beverly Yanez went down with her leg bleeding and was carried off in a stretcher; Katie Johnson entered the match in her place.
The Reign were the ones to break through in the 31st minute. Megan Rapnioe's shot at the top of the 18 deflected off of defender Cari Rocarro, putting the visitors up 1-0 right before the mandated hydration break. After the water break, the Dash tried their best to equailze before half. Andressa made her presence known in the midfield, but her services for Ohai were often caught offside. Rapinoe almost found herself with a brace, but goalkeeper Lydia Williams tipped it to the side where Daly collected to keep the score at 1-0. Seven minutes of stoppage time were added on to the half after a water break and mutiple injuries.
Seattle doubles the lead
The heat got to both sides in the second half, and the game slowed down as time went on. The Dash were able to find more opportunites in front of goal, but every show went wide, high or just off target. They definitely kept goalkeeper Hayley Kopmeyer busy in goal, forcing her to make incredible saves time and time again. Much like the last time these two teams met up, rookie Katie Johnson shned again as she spun her defender and slotted the ball past Williams to double the lead for Seattle. This was Johnson's second goal, with her first professional goal coming against Houston in their last match up in Seattle.
Houston kept pressing though and quite a few times they got close to getting one back. Due to the heat, Seattle didn't press much like they usually did, and the Dash were able to create more chances as well as use the flanks. Ohai had many shots, but just couldn't get them past Kopmeyer. With five minutes of stoppage alloted, Houston crept closer and closer to goal with no result. In the last few minutes, Beckie sent a ball towards Andressa at the front post, who cheekily flicked it behind her, but her clever move sent the ball right to the post instead of in goal and was eventually cleared. Just before the final whistle, Daly collapsed on the field due to heat illness. She was taken to a local hospital and is currently being treated.