The Houston Dash earned their second-straight win of the season as they held on to beat the Washington Spirit 3-2 in a Sunday night showdown. Rachel Daly scored a brace and Kealia Ohai netted her first goal since her ACL injury in the 2017 season. Estefania Banini and Ashley Hatch both scored for the Spirit to keep them in the game, but their heroics weren’t enough.
Injuries impact both sides
Both teams saw key players leave the game due to injury. For the Dash, Kristie Mewis was stretchered off the pitch early in the first-half. She collided with Ohai in the 13th minute and stayed on the ground but was able to walk off herself. She came on the field and went down from a non-contact knee injury and was not able to walk off alone. Updates will be provided once they are available.
The Spirit were forced to finish the match with 10 players after Mallory Pugh went down in the 86th minute. She was helped off the field, forcing Washington to finish a player down due to already utilizing their three substitutes. Updates about Pugh’s injury will be provided once available.
Dash score twice in second half to seal win
The match was scoreless well into the first half until stoppage time thanks to Daly. Dash forward Nichelle Prince dribbled up the left side to the box and crossed it to Daly who one-timed the ball and sent it past Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe for her third goal of the season.
Houston doubled the lead early in the second-half courtesy of Ohai. 30 seconds into the second 45, Ohai secured her blocked shot off of a defender and dribbled the ball at the edge of the box where she took the shot and the ball into the net and past Bledsoe for her first goal in over a year.
The Spirit would cut the lead in half in the 54th minute after Taylor Smith dribbled the ball up the right flank. She crossed the ball into the box to the far post where Banini was unmarked and settled the ball before sending into the side net for a goal making the score 2-1.
The Dash secured another two-goal lead in the 77th minute Thembi Kgatlana received the ball off of a Washington turnover and dribbled up the left flank. Bledsoe came out to try and stop the ball, but Kgatlana dribbled around her and passed it to Daly who walked the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the game and fourth of the season.
Sloppy play in second-half stoppage time gifted Hatch her third goal of the season to make the game 3-2, but the late-game heroics weren’t enough as the Dash secured three more points to move them into 5thplace with 13 points.
Houston will play their final game before the international break at home on Sunday June 3 against the North Carolina Courage with kickoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT on go90. Washington will host the Chicago Red Stars in the Lifetime Game of the Week Saturday June 2 with coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime.