The Houston Dash finally got their first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it wasn’t enough to get their first points at home as they fell 3-1 to the Chicago Red Stars on Friday night.
The two teams traded penalty kicks in the first half, with Chicago coming out on top on both attempts. Nine minutes in, Becky Edwards was judged to have handled the ball in the box, and Vanessa DiBernardo converted the spot kick.
The Dash had a handball appeal of their own waved off less than ten minutes later, but eventually did earn a penalty in the 32nd minute. Jordan Jackson slid a pass to Nina Burger behind the defense before Michelle Wenino dragged down the Austrian striker from behind. Becky Edwards stepped up to take the penalty for the Dash, but LeBlanc slid to her left to block the shot.
The Dash briefly found joy at the start of the second half. Ella Masar got on the end of a perfectly-weighted long ball into the box from Edwards in the 51st minute and directed a short shot past LeBlanc to tie the match at one. Masar, who scored the first-ever goal in Dash history in Boston on April 20, celebrated the first home goal by removing her jersey and sliding to the corner flag.
That joy was short-lived, however, as Chicago took the lead once more three minutes later. Alyssa Mautz found herself all alone in the box to receive a flicked header from Jen Hoy, and the Texas A&M product beat Erin McLeod from a difficult angle.
Things went from bad to worse just after the hour mark, as Chicago put the final touches on their win and Dash head coach Randy Waldrum was ejected from the match by referee Timon Berry. DiBernardo drove a free kick into the Dash penalty area that met the head of Hoy, who drove it inside the near post. Waldrum was thrown out of the match as the teams retreated for the following kickoff.
The Dash continued to push without their head coach for the final half hour. Masar forced a leaping save from LeBlanc with a volley attempt in the 64th minute and Rafaelle Souza’s chipped shot in the 82nd minute required a tip over the bar, but it wasn’t enough to put one past the Red Stars.
Houston (1-6-1, 4 points) has a short turnaround to Washington, D.C. for a Memorial Day afternoon match against the Washington Spirit. Chicago (5-2-1, 16 points) travels to New Jersey to face Sky Blue FC on May 28.
Houston Dash (1-6-1; 4 points) vs. Chicago Red Stars (5-2-1; 16 points)
NWSL regular season
May 23, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Chicago: Vanessa DiBernardo 1 (Penalty) 10
Houston: Ella Masar 2 (Becky Edwards 1) 51
Chicago: Alyssa Mautz 1 (Jen Hoy 1) 54
Chicago: Jen Hoy 4 (Vanessa DiBernardo 3) 62
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Arianna Romero, Osinachi Ohale, Marissa Diggs, Stephanie Ochs; Becky Edwards, Jordan Jackson (Teresa Noyola 42), Kaylyn Kyle; Tiffany McCarty, Nina Burger (Ella Masar 46), Kealia Ohai (Rafaelle Souza 59)
Unused substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Kika Toulouse, Holly Hein, Kelly McFarlane
Chicago Red Stars: Karina LeBlanc; Rachel Quon, Julie Johnston, Samantha Johnson, Michelle Wenino; Jackie Santacaterina (Julianne Sitch 27), Adriana Leon (Zakiya Bywaters 46), Lori Chalupny, Vanessa DiBernardo; Alyssa Mautz, Jen Hoy (Melissa Tancredi 65 (ejected 89))
Unused Substitutes: Hayley Brock, Kecia Morway, Taylor Vancil
CHI: Alyssa Mautz (caution) 24
HOU: Ella Masar (caution) 51
HOU: Randy Waldrum (ejected) 62
CHI: Melissa Tancredi (caution) 75
CHI: Rachel Quon (caution) 78
CHI: Melissa Tancredi (ejected) 89
Referee: Timon Berry
Assistant Referees: Cory Richardson, Carson Stewart Milton
Fourth Official: Christa Dorsey