Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell stopped a late penalty kick to hold a 1-1 draw with Reign FC to close out the National Women's Soccer League 2019 opening week. A crucial mistake by Campbell in stoppage time almost cost the Dash a point in the standings. After Campbell’s bad touch from a back pass, Campbell tried to recover but tripped up Reign FC attacker Jodie Taylor in the penalty area. Campbell would make amends for her mistake, diving to her left to save Taylor’s right footed penalty shot. The match would end on the ensuing goal kick. Both teams earned their first points in the standings.
Prince takes advantage early
Dash forward Nichelle Prince jumped on a bad pass by Reign FC’s backline in the 10th minute. Denmark international and Reign FC defender Theresa Nielsen failed to receive a pass from Allie Long that Prince intercepted. Prince finished her chance with a right footed shot beating Reign FC goalkeeper Michelle Betos into the bottom right corner of the net.
As if the Reign FC’s first half could not get any worse, Jasmyne Spencer and Megan Oyster went down with injuries. Spencer went down with a non-contact injury seemingly grabbing at her left knee. Spencer would be stretchered off and replace by Australian international Elise Kellond-Knight. In the 38th minute Oyster was taken out due to left leg injury. She was able to walk off on her own but was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair. Oyster was replaced by Kristen McNabb. The Dash would take a 1-0 into halftime.
Reign FC equalize
During the offseason Reign FC signed former North Carolina Courage midfielder Darian Jenkins and she paid dividends quickly. Taylor assisted on Jenkins 58th minute goal sending ball ahead on the left side. Jenkins took the ball into the box and fired a right footed shot that deflected off of Dash defender Taylor Comeau sneaking past Campbell into the bottom left corner of the net.
Play would open up in the second half leading to chances by both squads. Betos came up big against Rachel Daly’s break away in the 49th minute keeping the match a one goal Dash lead. Betos went on to make seven saves in the match. Sofia Huerta hit the post in the 76th minute, inches away from taking the lead. Reign newcomer Shea Groom had her chances as well registering 3 shots including Taylor’s saved penalty rebound Groom headed over the bar.
Before the match Houston Dash defender Amber Brooks was honored for 100 NWSL regular season appearances. Brooks becomes the 22nd player to reach the milestone.
Next up the Houston Dash will travel to New Jersey for a match against Sky Blue FC on Saturday April 20. Reign FC will have their home opener in their new home Cheney Stadium against the Orlando Pride in Tacoma, Washington on April 21.
Dash substitutes: Latsko min 74 (Ohai), Hanson min 74 (Prince),
Reign FC substitutes: Kellond-Knight min 26 (Spencer), McNabb min 40 (Oyster), Balcer min 86 (Jenkins).
Yellow Card: Schmidt min 67.