The Houston Dash fell to Sky Blue FC 1-0 at Yarcak Field to drop the season series after a scoreless draw in April.
The game-winning goal came in the 54th minute when Taylor Lytle tested her luck outside the box and beat Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger at the near post. That was Lytle’s first goal of the season and that was the sixth consecutive time the Dash dropped a game with a 1-0 score line.
With seven national team players reporting to training camp last month in preparation for the Olympic Games the Dash saw five changes to the starting lineup from Houston’s last game on June 23 against the Orlando Pride.
Daly won the ball at midfield in the 8th minute and passed the ball to Henderson to create space for her run towards the box. The English forward couldn’t connect with Henderson’s cross as she attempted a right-footed volley.
Sky Blue’s first opportunity of the game came in the 23rd minute when Lytle found Tasha Kai inside the six-yard box. The veteran forward missed the mark with her diving header that went wide of the near post.
Kai missed a great opportunity in the 39th minute when she went one-on-one with Henninger inside the 18-yard box but her shot missed the far post by a few inches.
Houston’s best opportunity came in the 40th minute when Amber Brooks’ 20-yard shot hit the near post. Brooks played higher in the match due to Dash head coach Randy Waldrum’s new formation, a 4-4-2 with Brooks sitting behind the strikers.
Australian international Sam Kerr tested Henninger in the 51st minute. Her cross was heading towards goal and the Mexican international punched the ball out of play.
In the 65th minute Ochs found Daly inside the 18-yard box but her shot went wide of the far post.
Lytle tested her luck again from outside the box but couldn’t beat Henninger who saved the ball at the near post.
Chioma Ubogagu came on as a second half substitution and forced a save from Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Caroline Casey in the 77th minute. The Stanford product tested her luck outside the box but Casey was well positioned to handle the ball.
Houston’s final opportunity of the night came in the fifth minute of stoppage time. After a collision between Houston midfielder Caity Heap and Sky Blue FC defender Raquel Rodriguez the Dash were awarded a free kick. Ubogagu took the free kick but her long-range effort went over the crossbar.
The Dash return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, July 16 to host Portland Thorns FC for Pride Night presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. For tickets and additional information, visit HoustonDashSoccer.com/Pride.
Houston Dash (2-7-1, 7 points) vs. Sky Blue FC (4-4-4, 16 points)
NWSL Regular Season
July 9, 2016—Yurcak Field—Piscataway Township, New Jersey
SBFC: Taylor Lytle 1 (Sarah Killion 1) 54
1 2 F
Houston Dash 0 0 0
Sky Blue FC 0 1 1
Houston Dash Lineup: Bianca Henninger; Becca Moros, Ellie Brush, Cari Roccaro, Stephanie Ochs (Megan Crosson 79); Cami Privett; Denise O’Sullivan, Amber Brooks (Caity Heap 79), Kealia Ohai; Melissa Henderson (Chioma Ubogagu 68), Rachel Daly
Subs not used: Tessa Gavilsky-Florio, Kate Scheele
Sky Blue FC Lineup: Caroline Casey, Erica Skrosi, Christie Rampone, Kristin Grubka, Erin Simon; Taylor Lytle, Raquel Rodriguez, Sarah Killion, Leah Galton (Catherine Zimmerman 90); Tasha Kai (Maya Hayes 79), Sam Kerr
Subs not used: Jill Loyden, Shawna Gordon, Nikki Stanton, Coco Goodson, Theresa Diederich
SBFC: Tasha Kai (caution) 55
HOU: Caity Heap (caution) 90+5’
Referee: Cuahtemoc Delgadillo
Assistant Referees: Ian McKay, Alicia Messer
Fourth Official: Ben Pilgrim