The Houston Dash (2-4-0; 6 pts.) dropped a heartbreaker to Sky Blue FC (3-2-1; 10 pts.) at Yurcak Field in New Jersey Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 on a goal just minutes from the end of the game.
Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodriguez unlocked a 1-1 game with the game-winner in the 85th minute when she poked a loose ball into the net after a scramble inside the penalty area. After a foul was called on Dash defender Cami Privett 35 yards from goal along the sideline. The free kick was driven into the penalty area, and two Dash defenders collided while going for the ball. The ball fell at the six-yard box where Rodriguez punched it past Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
Sky Blue struck first when Rodriguez won a penalty for the home team in the 19th minute after she suffered a foul outside the six yard box. Midfielder Sarah Killion converted the penalty kick a minute later for her fifth goal of the season and her fourth from the penalty spot.
Dash forward Kealia Ohai sparked the equalizer in the 40th minute after she dribbled past two Sky Blue defenders and found midfielder Andressinha inside the box. The midfielder’s initial shot ricocheted off the left post, but she was first to the rebound and her second effort beat Kailen Sheridan at the right post for her first goal of the season.
The Dash nearly equalized again on two occasions. Immediately after the Sky Blue goal, Ohai raced down the right sideline and whipped in a cross to the six-yard box. Forward Melissa Henderson was streaking into the area but was unable to get a foot onto the cross. Then in the second minute of stoppage time, midfielder Denise O’Sullivan collected a ball at the top of the Sky Blue penalty area, turned and fired a right-footed shot that forced a diving save from Sheridan to keep it out.
Defender Rachel Daly made her first start at outside back and her service to forwardNichelle Prince in the 10th minute created one of Houston’s best opportunities of the first half. The Canadian international was challenged by a Sky Blue defender that forced an unbalanced shot at the edge of the six yard box.
Williams was called into action in the 26th minute after Rodriguez found midfielder Kelly O’Hara at the far post. The USWNT midfielder was rejected at the end line as Williams smothered her ball near the post. Williams made another crucial save in the 68th minute after she denied fellow Australian international Sam Kerr’s header at the goal line.
The Dash return home to BBVA Compass Stadium next Saturday, May 27 at 3pm when they host Seattle Reign FC on Honoring Our Heroes day. It will be the Dash’s third consecutive appearance on the Lifetime NWSL Game of the Week.