COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The Houston Dash took care of business in their penultimate preseason match Wednesday night at Ellis Field in College Station, defeating the Texas A&M women's soccer team 3-1.
The Aggies got off to a hot start in the match, putting immediate pressure on the Dash goal. The Houston defense blocked an initial cross into the box, but the ball fell to an unmarked Mikaela Harvey on the far side of the box. She took her time to settle for a shot, but that too was deflected, again falling to an Aggie attacker. Allie Bailey took a close-range shot that Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod got her hands to, but the ball slipped through and fell into the back of the net for a surprise A&M lead.
The Dash responded quickly with a goal of their own just six minutes later, however. Midfielder Jordan Jackson played a ball into the feet of Kealia Ohai near the edge of the box, and Ohai played a nifty backheel with a defender on her back to spring the onrushing Jackson into the box. The fourth-round draft pick had no problem finishing the sequence for her second goal of the preseason.
Both teams tested the opposing goalkeepers from distance with a blustery wind blowing from the south, and the woodwork was called into play several times as well. Bailey nearly had her second goal of the match in the 36th minute as she tried to catch McLeod off her line, but it clipped off the top of the crossbar.
Ohai broke the deadlock at the end of the first half after forcing a good save from A&M keeper Jordan Day just a minute before. The UNC product, who was part of the team that ended Texas A&M's NCAA tournament run in the fall of 2013, took a defender one-on-one on the right side of the box and beat Day with a hard shot at the near post.
The Dash rattled the goalposts three times in the second half, starting just two minutes out of the halftime break when forward Ella Masar clipped shot off the top of the bar. Teresa Noyola hit a half-volley 73 minutes in that bounced straight down from the underside of the crossbar, but landed right on the goal line and did not go over. Masar would work the post again in the 85th minute with a volley attempt off a Lindsay Elston cross.
Masar got her goal to make it 3-1, though, Trialist Dominique Richardson threaded a perfect through ball from the halfway line behind the Aggie defense, and Masar latched onto it and slid the ball into the A&M net.
The Dash's final preseason match before their April 12 inaugural match comes Saturday night against the Houston Aces as part of a doubleheader with the Houston Dynamo's Texas Derby match vs. FC Dallas (7 p.m. CT, TICKETS).
Texas A&M University vs. Houston Dash
April 2, 2014—Ellis Field, College Station, TX
Texas A&M: Allie Bailey (Mikaela Harvey) 3
Houston: Jordan Jackson 2 (Kealia Ohai 3) 9
Houston: Kealia Ohai 3 (unassisted) 45
Houston: Ella Masar 1 (Dominique Richardson 2) 80
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod (Bianca Henninger 46); Arianna Romero, Marissa Diggs (Osinachi Ohale* 46), Emilee O’Neil* (Holly Hein* 46), Kika Toulouse (Nikki Washington 46); Becky Edwards (Dominique Richardson* 60), Brittany Bock (Jordan Jackson 75), Jordan Jackson (Teresa Noyola 60); Stephanie Ochs (Ella Masar 46), Tiffany McCarty (Lindsay Elston* 60), Kealia Ohai,
Texas A&M University:
Starters: Jordan Day; Karlie Mueller, Meghan Streight, Ashlynn Harryman, Leigh Edwards; Stephanie Malherbe, Janae Cousineau, Mikaela Harvey; Bianca Brinson, Annie Kunz, Allie Bailey
Substitutes: Haley Pounds, Jackie Tondl, Sarah Shaw, Renee McDermott, Ana Cruz
HOU: Tiffany McCarty (caution) 40
HOU: Nikki Washington (caution) 56