The Utah Royals earned their second win of the season as they broke the Houston Dash’s three-game unbeaten streak. The chippy and physical first half left the match scoreless, but Erika Tymrak broke the deadlock with her first goal of the season in the Lifetime Game of the Week. The Royals stay in 6thplace but with 11 points are one point behind the third through fifth place teams. The Dash remain in seventh place with as many points.
The match started out somber with the teams pausing for a moment of silence to remember the 10 people killed at Santa Fe High School on Friday. Santa Fe is 40 miles south of Houston. The act by the Royals organization was a compassionate move and very much appreciated.
Utah dominated the match
The Royals were dominant both offensively and defensively. The team led the Dash 18 shots to 7 with five shots on goal to Houston’s zero. They also led with 14 crosses and dominated possession 63.6% to 36.4%. Defensively, they didn’t allow a shot on goal for Houston and recorded five blocked shots and 21 clearances.
The score line stayed 1-0 in large part because of Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell who recorded four saves, including a first-half save of a penalty kick. Amber Brooks was called for a foul inside the box on Amy Rodriguez, giving the Royals a pk in the 37th minute. Canadian-international Diana Matheson stepped up to the spot and sent the ball to her left, but Campbell guessed correctly and made the save.
The pk was Matheson’s first since the 2016 NWSL Championship when she was with the Washington Spirit. Her penalty kick was saved by then Western New York Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo to give the Flash the win. Before that, Matheson had made 10-straight penalty kicks.
First half was chippy, but Tymrak earned the goal
The match as a whole was physical with 30 total fouls called combined, 16 for the Royals and 14 for the Dash. Both teams earned early yellow cards with Brooke Elby earning one for Utah in the ninth minute and Rachel Daly earning one for Houston in the 12th minute. Matheson also earned one in the 55th minute.
The deadlock was broken early in the second half by Tymrak in the 51st minute. Gunny Jonsdottir dribbled down the right flank to the box where she sent the ball across. It passed Rodriguez and landed at the feet of Tymrak who sent it to the left of Campbell, out of the reach of her diving arms. The goal put the Royals up for good, helping them continue their five-game unbeaten streak.
The Dash have two games in the next week. First, they host the Seattle Reign on Wednesday May 23 with kickoff at 7:00 p.m. CT. They stay at home to host the Spirit Sunday May 27 with kickoff at 6:00 p.m. CT. Utah will travel northwest to take on the Portland Thorns Friday May 25 with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT. All three games are streaming live on go90.