Once again the Houston Dash went down a goal early, but once again they were able to pull one back as they tied the Washington Spirit 1-1 on Thursday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The action started early on both ends, with the Dash holding possession well but Washington countering with speed when the ball turned over.
Lisa De Vanna played Jodie Taylor behind the Dash defense and Erin McLeod rushed off her line to contest the English striker after just 10 minutes. Taylor was able to round the Dash goalkeeper, but her touch took her to the endline and allowed Marissa Diggs to retreat to the goal line. The rookie defender stepped to Taylor as she searched for an angle and was perfectly positioned to block the shot.
Minutes after having a breakaway goal called back for offside, Washington found the opening goal. Taylor beat Diggs at midfield in the 19th minute then found De Vanna streaking down the field with Stephanie Ochs in pursuit. De Vanna shimmied her way around Ochs then placed a precise chip over the sliding McLeod.
McLeod and Ashlyn Harris traded one-on-one stops in the first half. McLeod took the ball off of De Vanna’s feet on a breakaway attempt after some confusion in the back in the 30th minute, then Harris touched a Nina Burger shot off the outside of the post four minutes later.
De Vanna, a constant threat in the first half on the counterattack, was forced off at halftime with an apparent leg injury and Washington found less success testing the Houston back line, getting just two shots and neither of them on frame. The Dash put continual pressure on the attacking end of things while pushing for a goal, resulting in 8 corner kicks to the Spirit’s one.
It was off an Ochs corner 74 minutes in that Houston got the equalizing score. The cross made it past the outstretched arms of Harris and bounced off of Kaylyn Kyle to Diggs at the back post, who tapped home her first professional goal.
Both teams then searched for a possible winning goal with fresh legs off the bench, but nothing came as the teams split the points.
The Dash have the weekend off before traveling to Chicago to face the Red Stars on July 26, while Washington turns around for meeting against Sky Blue FC on Sunday in New Jersey.
Houston Dash (5-10-2; 17 points) vs. Washington Spirit (8-7-3; 27 points)
NWSL regular season
July 17, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Washington: Lisa De Vanna 1 (Jodie Taylor 1) 19
Houston: Marissa Diggs 1 (Kaylyn Kyle 2) 74
Washington Spirit: Ashlyn Harris; Crystal Dunn (Robyn Gayle 46), Ali Krieger, Alex Singer, Niki Cross; Christine Nairn (Danesha Adams 83), Kerstin Garefrekes, Diana Matheson, Yael Averbuch; Jodie Taylor, Lisa De Vanna (Veronica Perez 46)
Unused Substitutes: Chantel Jones, Lori Lindsey
Houston Dash: Erin Mcleod; Stephanie Ochs, Marissa Diggs, Whitney Engen, Meaghan Klingenberg; Kaylyn Kyle, Jordan Jackson (Rafaelle Souza 78), Becky Edwards; Kealia Ohai, Nina Burger (Kelly McFarlane 60), Melissa Henderson (Tiffany McCarty 81)
Unused substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Arianna Romero, Kika Toulouse, Osinachi Ohale
Referee: Michael Zapata
Assistant Referees: Mark Boyko, Cory Richardson
Fourth Official: Suzanne Bilbrey