On December 12, 2013 it was announced that Houston would be getting a soccer team that would compete in the National Women's Soccer League. Just four short months later that team opened up the season to a sell out crowd at BBVA Compass Stadium on what was declared Dash Day by Houston mayor Annise Parker.
The team already plagued with injuries found itself facing more when just minutes into the match Brittany Bock was forced to the sideline with what appeared to be a left knee injury. Taped up, Bock re-entered the match just in time for Kealia Ohai to collide with a Portland player forcing her to limp off the field. Ohai finally re-entered the match in the 15th minute. Despite playing with only 10 women on the field for the first fifteen minutes of the match the Dash dominated possession. Jordan Jackson had several early shots, but both of them went over the net.
Going down again Bock was forced to exit the match for the final time with a left knee sprain leading to Teresa Noyola come on in her place in the 23th minute. As the substitution was taking place Jessica McDonald threw a long ball into the box and Allie Long scored a bouncing header putting the Dash down 1-0 to the Thorns. In the 28th minute Stephanie Ochs drew a foul 25 yards out but when Noyola took the free kick she sent it wide left. After falling behind the team began pushing harder but it lead to too many long passes that didn't connect. Holly Hein was called for a handball just outside the box as the first half began to wind down. Thorn captain Christine Sinclair took the free kick, but it went right into the wall.
Portland dominated possession in the second half as their experience began to show through stifling the few attacking runs the Dash put together. The Thorns attack didn't suffer the same problem and started early as Long put a ball into the side of the net. Long had yet another shot in the 53rd minute that forced McLeod to come up big. One of the Dash's best chances came in the 63rd minute when Elston sent a beautiful ball to Ella Masar who hit the ball too heavy and it ended up out for a goal kick. McCarty almost got the equalizer in the 84th minute after a mistake in the back, but she couldn't get the shot away in time. Then as time began to wind down McCarty almost got the game tier in the 90th minute from a pass sent in from Jackson, but her shot was blocked. Elston followed it up with another shot, but it was saved by Angerer. Then they thought they had it when Edwards put the ball in the back of the net but it but it was called offside. Making an exciting end to a 1-0 loss for the Dash.
The Dash took few shots though out the game and had even fewer on goal. They are going to have to get more from their forwards as they move forward in the NWSL season. The make shift defense did a solid job on the night.
They didn't start the season with three points, but the Houston Dash are here to stay.
Houston: McLeod ©; Romero, Ohale, Hein, Washington; Bock (Noyola 23'), Jackson, Edwards; Ohai (Elston 58'), Masar, Ochs (McCarty 78')
Portland: Angerer; Niemiec, Marshall, Menges, Moros (Acevedo 83') ; Brooks, Long, Farrelly, Kerr (Shim 75'); Sinclair, McDonald (Huffman 70')