Week two in the National Women's Soccer League kicked off with only one game on Friday night: the Houston Dash hosting the Utah Royals. It was the first meeting between the two clubs in history, and neither of them were able to break through and score for their team. Both teams were coming off of a 1-1 draw from week one, and this time they came away with a 0-0 draw, earning a point and a shut out for each team respectively.
Quiet first half
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm at the beginning, and neither were able to find a chance at a goal either. Possession switched often, and although Utah seemed to have the upperhand in possession and nearing their goal, Houston was always there to clear or attempt a counter. No one truly took control of the game for awhile, but in the 27th minute, the Utah Royals found themselves with a golden opportunity after being awarded a free kick at the top of the D. Gunnhildur Jonsdottir got it over the wall and towards the back of the net, but goalkeeper Jane Campbell easily tipped it over for a corner. Only a few minutes after, play was stopped as Royals defender Beca Moros went down with an injury. After a couple of minutes Moros was subbed off and did not reappear in the match.
The game went often go back and forth after that, neither with a real opportunity. The Royals had majority of possession, but it was the Dash with the chance to close out the half. Linda Molthalo took a big touch to beat her defender on the flank. She then crossed the ball into the box for forward Kimberly Keever, who scored in last week's match, but Keever's shot went high past the crossbar for a goal kick. Both teams would enter the locker room at half time with a 0-0 draw.
Lively second half
The second half proved a little more lively. The Houston Dash seemed to have energized a bit after half time, finding a couple of opportunities in front of goal within the first few minutes. They however were unable to find the back of the net, and the Utah Royals were also able to find their chances as the half wore on. They forced Campbell to make a number of saves, calling her into action quite a bit in the second half. Campbell handled them all with ease though, and she was able to keep Utah off the board.
Neither team would break through in the final 45, although there were some exciting moments where each team was able to have a chance at the back of the net.
Next week will be a league wide international break. The Utah Royals return to action on April 14, when they host the the Chicago Red Stars in their first-ever home opener while Houston Dash will return to action on Wednesday, April 18 when they travel to take on the Chicago Red Stars for their first away game.