The Houston Dash honored their three World Cup champions at BBVA Compass Stadium in front of a record crowd of 13,025 fans on Sunday night, but couldn’t take home three points in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars.
The Red Stars jumped back into first place in the NWSL standings behind goals from Vanessa DiBernardo and Jen Hoy, though Houston’s Tiffany McCarty briefly put the Dash on level terms in the second half. The crowd of 13,025 broke the Dash’s previous attendance record of 8,097, set at the club’s inaugural match on April 12, 2014.
Chicago opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Alyssa Mautz made a run down the right sideline and cut the ball back across the box for DiBernardo to run onto. Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod was able to get a hand on the shot from 10 yards, but couldn’t keep it out of her goal.
Chicago nearly added a second from a similar play on the opposite flank in the 26th minute as Arin Gilliland’s cross went through everyone across the face of goal. Mautz looked poised to tap the ball in an open net, but Camila came through with a sliding tackle to save the goal.
The Dash came out of the break in the 57th minute to tie the match. Kealia Ohai beat her defender on the right flank and served a lofted cross just out of the reach of Red Stars goalkeeper Michele Dalton. The ball fell perfectly for Tiffany McCarty at the back post, however, and she headed the ball down and into the net for the equalizer. The goal was McCarty’s first of the season.
Chicago replied just three minutes later to retake the lead for good. The Dash cleared a corner but Rachel Quon headed the ball back into the box. It bounced past a couple of defenders and into the path of Hoy, who latched onto it with her left foot and placed it past McLeod to regain the lead.
Houston nearly had a ready-made response a minute later as Ohai and McCarty tried to team up once more. Ohai again got free on the right and cut a pass back to McCarty making a run in the box, but a Chicago defender slid in to block the shot off McCarty’s foot.
The Dash honored their three Canadian players as well as the World Cup champion trio of Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg and Morgan Brian prior to Sunday’s match in their first match back in Houston. Only McLeod made an appearance out of the six World Cup players.
Houston returns to action on the road against FC Kansas City on July 20, while the Red Stars play host to the Boston Breakers next Saturday.
Houston Dash (3-4-4; 13 points) vs. Chicago Red Stars (6-1-3; 21 points)
NWSL regular season
July 12, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 13,025 (sellout, Dash record)
Chicago Red Stars: Vanessa DiBernaro 2 (Alssa Mautz 1) 19
Houston Dash: Tiffany McCarty 1 (Kealia Ohai 3) 57
Chicago Red Stars: Jen Hoy 3 (unassisted) 61
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Ella Masar © (Jen LaPonte 66), Ellie Brush, Toni Pressley, Camila Pereira (Jordan Jackson 77); Melissa Henderson, Niki Cross, Rachael Axon (Allie Bailey 46), Tiffany McCarty; Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald
Substitutes Not Used: Bianca Henninger, Carleigh Williams, Lauren Sesselmann, Jordan O’Brien
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Tiffany McCarty 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Tiffany McCarty 3); FOULS: 6 (Camila Pereira 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Melissa Henderson 4); SAVES: 6 (Erin McLeod 6)
Chicago Red Stars: Michele Dalton; Arin Gilliland, Abby Erceg, Tayrn Hemmings, Samantha Johnson; Alyssa Mautz (Melissa Tancredi 72), Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, Rachel Quon (Cara Walls 90+3); Sofia Huerta, Jen Hoy (Michelle Lomnicki 83)
Substitutes Not Used: Karina Leblanc, Adriana Leon, Christen Press, Julie Johnston
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Sofia Huerta 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Jen Hoy, Vanessa DiBernardo tied with 3); FOULS: 10 (Vanessa DiBernardo 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jen Hoy 2); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Vanessa DiBernardo 6); SAVES: 6 (Michele Dalton 6)
CHI: Danielle Colaprico (caution) 3
HOU: Ellie Brush (caution) 84
Referee: Christopher Spivey
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Francisco Bermudez
Fourth Official: Michael Lavergne