Houston Dash win first match of the year 3-2 at Sky Blue FC

Houston Dash head coach Vera Pauw collected her first win in the NWSL. The win is the first for the Houston Dash in the 2018 season.

Houston Dash win first match of the year 3-2 at Sky Blue FC
Houston Dash celebrate a goal at Sky Blue FC (Photo: Houston Dash twitter)
Sky Blue FC
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Houston Dash
Sky Blue FC: Sheridan; Freeman, Stott, Skroski, Gibbons (Hoy, min. 85), Killion, Rodriguez (Groom, min. 46), Lloyd, Beckie, McCaskill, Johnson (Tiernan, min. 85).
Houston Dash: Campbell; Keever, van Wyk, Brooks, Agnew (Latsko, min. 71), Mewis, Hanson, Simon, Ohai (Kgatlana, min. 76), Daly, Prince (Jordan, min. 90).
SCORE: 0-1, min. 24, Prince. 1-1, min. 57, Johnson. 1-2, min. 59, Daly. 2-2, min. 73, Johnson. 2-3, min. 79, Latsko.
REFEREE: Admonishes McCaskill (min. 64), Daly (min. 84)
INCIDENTS: 2018 NWSL regular season match. Match played at Yurcak Field in New Jersey.

Sky Blue FC and Houston Dash had an outbreak of goals Saturday night as Houston earned their first win of the 2018 National Women's Soccer League season. Katie Johnson’s brace was not enough to beat the Houston Dash. Nichelle Prince, Rachel Daly and Veronica Latsko collected goals for Houston. The Dash put heavy pressure on Sky Blue in the first half scoring the first goal of the match on a Prince tap in. The second half the match opened up for both teams. The half saw Sky Blue and Dash traded chances and goals as Johnson scored twice and Houston tallied twice from Daly and Latsko.

Prince gives Houston an early lead

Houston were all over Sky Blue FC throughout the first half. The offensive push may have been attributed to Kristie Mewis and Daly being put up at attacking positions. The pair have been playing on the defensive backline for the most of the season. The duo helped Prince, Kealia Ohai and Kyah Simon create chances in their attack. Ohai speed was effective on the flank giving Sky Blue defender Kristina Gibbons trouble the entire half. Ohai started her second match since coming back from her ACL injury. Although Ohai did not play the entire 90 minutes, she looked well enough to finish the match. Ohai forced Sky Blue to concede a corner that lead to the first goal of the match. The Mewis corner kick found Lindsey Agnew’s head at the far post, that dropped in front of Prince to tap in the goal. Prince’s goal was her first of the season and second of the season for the entire Dash team. This was the first Houston Dash goal since their first match of the season. Houston would maintain control throughout the rest of the half but were not able to tally another goal. The first half would end with a 1-0 Dash lead.

Katie Johnson (14) celebrates one of her two goals with her Sky Blue FC teammates. (Source: SkyBlueFC.com)
Katie Johnson (14) celebrates one of her two goals with her Sky Blue FC teammates. (Source: SkyBlueFC.com)

An outburst of goals

The second half, Sky Blue found their game and were able to create chances throughout the half. Dash defender Amber Brooks had a key block in the early part of the second half when Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell was caught out of her net challenging Katie Johnson chance. Johnson moved around Campbell but Brooks ran behind Campbell to clear away Johnson’s shot. Mexican international Johnson would come back minutes later to score the first equalizer and her first of the season. Sky Blue substitute Shea Groom came down the right flank and sent a cross to a sliding Johnson for Sky Blue’s first goal of the match. Two minutes later Rachel Daly would give the Dash the lead again. Daly brought the ball down the right flank and sent a ball across the face of goal that Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan touched but could not keep of the net. In the 73rd minute Johnson would add her second goal of the match, off her header from Sarah Killion’s cross. Dash goalkeeper Campbell had no chance on Johnson’s second equalizer. Houston would take the lead again for the third time six minutes later in the 79th minute. Houston substitutes Thembi Kgatlana and Veronia Latsko would create the winning goal. Kgalana chased a ball down the right side. Her cross found the the left foot of a wide open Latsko the give the Dash the lead for good. Sky Blue pushed for their third equalizer but Campbell and Houston defense stifled all Carli Lloyd's Sky Blue attack. Houston were able to hang on for the win.

Sky Blue FC will travel to Seattle Reign FC for their next match on Saturday May 12. While Houston Dash have two matches next week. They will first host Portland Thorns FC in a mid-week match on Wednesday May 9 then will travel to Chicago for a match against the Red Stars Saturday May 12.