The Houston Dash saw a near replica of their opening day performance against Portland Thorns FC on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, but once again it ended in a 1-0 loss to the reigning NWSL champions.
The Dash controlled much of the play in the first half and created scoring chances right until the final whistle as they did in their inaugural match on April 12, but couldn’t find the back of the net to overcome Jessica McDonald’s second half goal for the Thorns.
Angie Kerr collected a failed Dash clearance inside the box in the 57th minute, and found McDonald unmarked in front of the goal for a simple tap-in past Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod. It was her fourth goal of the season, which leads the team.
Jordan Jackson looked the most likely to put the Dash on the board in the first half, forcing two saves from Thorns FC goalkeeper Nadine Angerer and putting another chance just wide. Jackson worked free at the back post on an Arianna Romero free kick 16 minutes in, but Angerer made herself big and knocked the Dash midfielder’s header off the line with her leg.
Angerer, the reigning FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, came up big again in the 47th minute, saving a Kaylyn Kyle penalty kick after Thorns defender Nikki Marshall handled a Dash free kick in the box. Dash forward Rafaelle Souza, who made her first NWSL start after finishing her degree at Ole Miss, couldn’t get to the rebound.
McLeod showed her own international pedigree in goal, making six key stops in the second half to keep the Dash within striking distance. McDonald looked to be in on goal and headed toward her second goal of the night in the 88th minute, but McLeod reacted quickly off her line and made a sliding kick save to keep the deficit at one.
The Dash would come close again in the 77th minute, when Stephanie Ochs flicked on a long throw from Romero into the box. Substitute Kealia Ohai got to the ball in front of Angerer, but couldn’t make clean contact on her shot to beat Angerer, stretching the Dash’s scoreless streak to 365 minutes.
The Dash (1-5-0; 3 points) will travel to face FC Kansas City on Sunday evening, while Portland (3-1-2; 11 points) returns home to welcome the Western New York Flash on May 21.
Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC
May 14, 2014—BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
NWSL Regular Season
Portland: Jessica McDonald 4 (Angie Kerr 1) 57
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Arianna Romero, Osinachi Ohale, Holly Hein, Stephanie Ochs; Kaylyn Kyle, Jordan Jackson (Teresa Noyola 65), Becky Edwards; Ella Masar, Nina Burger (Kelly McFarlane 74), Rafaelle Souza (Kealia Ohai 55)
Unused Substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Marissa Diggs, Kika Toulouse, Tiffany McCarty
Portland Thorns FC: Nadine Angerer; Courtney Niemiec, Nikki Marshall, Emily Menges, Kat Tarr; Rebecca Moros (Sarah Huffman 69), Amber Brooks, Angie Kerr (Meleana Shim 80), Sinead Farrelly; Christine Sinclaie, Jessica McDonald
Unused Substitutes: Michelle Betos, Allie Long, Jackie Acevedo
HOU: Kealia Ohai (caution) 76
PTFC: Amber Brooks (caution) 91
Referee: Josh Wilkens
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Richardson, Tony Obas
Fourth Official: Jody Pinkerton