As the regular National Women’s Soccer League season comes to an end, the North Carolina Courage look to clinch a home playoff match this weekend when they host the Houston Dash. The Courage are coming off of a tough 2-1 road loss to the Chicago Red Stars. Similarly, the Dash suffered a 1-0 loss to the Seattle Reign in Dallas last week. Both teams will push for the three points this weekend: North Carolina to earn the home playoff, Houston to keep their playoff hopes alive for another week.
Courage still going strong
Last weekend’s lost ended North Carolina’s five-game unbeaten streak, but they still sit comfortably and look towards playoffs. A win against the Dash this weekend will solidify a playoff match at home. They have the second-best home record in the league with 8-2-0, and go into this weekend with a three game home winning streak. This was supposed to be the second meeting between the two teams, but their game on August 27 was postponed due to Hurricane Harvey. Saturday marks the first meet up between the Courage and the Dash.
Courage forward Lynn Williams will look to add to her six goals she’s scored so far in the 2017 NWSL season. She, along with the likes of a very threatening Courage attack, will look to find the back at the net. There are a few familiar faces in the match up: Denise O’Sullivan and Stephanie Ochs were both with the Houston Dash earlier this year. They now look for a win against their former club, who seems to be still struggling as they always do.
Houston barely holding on
Without a win, the Houston Dash are mathematically out of playoff contention for the season. This would be the fourth season in a row that the Dash have missed playoffs. Despite a new - interim - head coach at the realm with Omar Morales, the Houston Dash can’t seem to string together the results they’ve been looking for. There have been many changes to this Dash squad throughout the season, and chances look slim but this group could still possibly find a place in the postseason if they can string it all together.
Rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell has been consistently performing very well for Houston, but her efforts never seem to be enough. Campbell will hope to lead her team into victory against the Courage, but she’ll need help from the likes to Rachel Daly and Sarah Hagen. Newest addition Kristie Mewis looks to find the back of the net as well; the attacking minded player was very impactful for the Dash last weekend, but she - and the rest of the team - were unable to find the back of the net.
The North Carolina Courage host the Houston Dash in Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday, September 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM Eastern Time and will be streamed on the go90 app as well as the NWSL website.