The Houston Dash capped their 2015 home slate with a 1-0 win over the Boston Breakers in front of 6,842 fans on Sunday night.
Ella Masar—starting at forward for the first time this season after converting to outside back—slid at the near post in the 34th minute to clip a low cross from Jessica McDonald into the net for her first goal of the season.
The victory was the sixth of the year for the Dash, setting a new club mark for wins in a season. The team already surpassed its points total from 2014 and can finish as high as fifth place depending on results in the final weekend.
Boston kept the match even through the early portions of the night. Forward Stephanie McCaffrey collected a ball alone in the box in the 17th minute and let loose a powerful shot, but it carried across the face of goal and stayed wide.
Masar nearly got the opener in 27th minute. Carli Lloyd played a long throughball with the outside of her foot right into the path of the streaking forward, but as Masar stopped the ball she couldn’t stop herself, and overran it just enough for goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to cover the loose ball.
After the goal, McDonald tried to double the lead off a corner kick from Andressa just before the halftime whistle. Her header clanged off the post, however.
Lloyd took over in the second half, but was unable to get a goal. In the 59th minute, she lined up a curling effort from 25 yards that breezed just a few feet past the far post. Less than 10 minutes later, she ran across the box and received a nifty chipped pass from Andressa but her shot going away from goal carried past the goalmouth.
In the 79th minute, Lloyd tapped in a shot from Camila that deflected off a Breakers defender and the inside of the post, but was adjudged to have been offside. Five minutes from time, Lloyd found herself alone against Naeher and tried dribbling around the keeper, but Naeher was able to save Lloyd’s shot from the ground.
Boston failed to trouble Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod, with most of her five saves on the evening being of the routine variety. The Breakers had one final attempt in the final minute of second half stoppage time with a free kick from 22 yards out, but Rafinha’s shot hit off the Dash wall.
This was the final match of the season for Boston, who finish with the league’s worst record. The Dash have one final road trip to face the Chicago Red Stars on September 6.
Houston Dash (6-8-5; 23 points) vs. Boston Breakers (4-13-3; 15 points)
NWSL regular season
August 30, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Houston Dash: Ella Masar 1 (Jessica McDonald 1) 34
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod; Toni Pressley, Allysha Chapman, Ellie Brush, Meghan Klingenberg; Andressa, Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd; Kealia Ohai (Melissa Henderson 88), Jessica McDonald (Tiffany McCarty 89), Ella Masar © (Camila 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Bianca Henninger, Jen LaPonte, Jordan Jackson, Rachael Axon
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Carli Lloyd 9); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Ella Masar 2); FOULS: 6 (Ellie Brush, Carli Lloyd tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Carli Lloyd 2); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Andressa 5); SAVES: 5 (Erin McLeod 5)
Boston Breakers: Alyssa Naeher; Julie King ©, Rachel Wood, Kassey Kallman, Mollie Pathman, Maddy Evans (Amy Barczuk 73); Lauren Lazo, Suzane Pires (Katie Schoepfer 62), Kristie Mewis; Stephanie McCaffrey (Rafinha 55), Kyah Simon
Substitutes Not Used: Jami Kranich, Bia, Morgan Marlborough, Nkem Ezurike
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Stephanie McCaffrey 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Stephanie McCaffrey 2); FOULS: 8 (Rachel Wood 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Lauren Lazo, Kyah Simon tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Kristie Mewis 5); SAVES: 5 (Alyssa Naeher 5)
HOU: Ella Masar (caution) 35
BOS: Katie Schoepfer (caution) 89
Referee: Cedric Adams
Assistant Referees: Michael Piercey, Mike Arrington
Fourth Official: Kyle Phillips