The Houston Dash couldn’t put away their early chances and couldn’t generate enough opportunities in the second half in a 1-0 loss to the Washington Spirit at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.
Jodie Taylor chipped Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod in the 61st minute for her 7th goal of the year and Washington’s first win in four games.
The Dash started on the front foot in the first half. Kealia Ohai was busy down the right side, using her pace to get behind the Spirit defense. Dash midfielder Becky Edwards found the speedy forward behind the defense with a perfect long ball in the 20th minute, but Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris—just returned from USWNT duty—rushed off her line to smother Ohai’s shot attempt.
McLeod was also called into action in the first half for the Dash. Spirit forward Lisa De Vanna burst into the box on the left side 33 minutes in and used the outside of her left foot to try to beat McLeod with a shot to the far post. The Dash keeper did well to stretch to the ball and pushed it just enough to ricochet off the inside of the post and stay out.
Chances were at a premium for most of the night, and even more so as the muggy weather wore down both sides. Washington got the breakthrough just after the hour mark, though, as De Vanna found Taylor sprinting behind the Dash defense on the counter attack. McLeod charged off her line as the English international received the ball, but Taylor picked her head up and lobbed a shot from the edge of the penalty area for the game’s only goal.
The Dash travel to New Jersey to face Sky Blue on July 2 looking to end the two game losing streak before returning to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the Western New Flash on July 5. Washington returns home against the Boston Breakers on Wednesday.
Houston Dash (4-9-1; 13 points) vs. Washington Spirit (7-7-1; 22 points)
NWSL regular season
June 28, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Washington: Jodie Taylor 7 (Unassisted) 62
Washington Spirit: Ashlyn Harris; Robyn Gayle (Cyrstal Dunn 67), Ali Kreiger, Alex Singer, Tori Huster; Yael Averbuch (Christine Nairn 59), Lori Linsdsey, Niki Cross, Diana Matheson; Jodie Taylor, Lisa De Vanna (Kerstin Garefrekes 78)
Unused Substitutes: Veronica Perez, Chantel Jones, Danesha Adams
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Arianna Romero, Osinachi Ohale (Marissa Diggs 45), Whitney Engen, Stephanie Ochs; Kaylyn Kyle, Ella Masar, Becky Edwards; Tiffany McCarty (Lindsay Elston 74), Nina Burger (Kika Toulouse 59), Kealia Ohai
Unused substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Rafaelle Souza, Jordan Jackson, Kelly McFarlane
Referee: Margaret Domka
Assistant Referees: Amanda Ross, Mike Arrington
Fourth Official: Stewart Carson Milton