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Home win eludes Dash as they fall to Red Stars

A crazy night of first for the Dash saw the first goal at home, the first tossing of Coach Waldrum but the first home win still eludes them.

Despite her best efforts McLeod couldn't keep the Red Stars from scoring
Despite her best efforts McLeod couldn't keep the Red Stars from scoring
Trask Smith

Things did not start as the Dash had hoped with Chicago quickly taking the ball down the field and sending it off the cross bar and things didn't get any better in a Friday night that only got stranger and stranger. 

Just nine minutes into the match Chicago was awarded a penalty kick for a handball after Becky Edwards arm collided with the ball as she was on the ground. DiBernardo took the kick sending to the right of goal, McLeod guess correctly diving for the ball but it was just past her reach and in the back of the net. 

However, when the reverse was true with Julie Johnston on the ground and the ball appeared to hit her arm the referee declined to call it. Which summed up much of the referees night- cautious with some calls overly zealous with others. Alyssa Mautz slid into Erin McLeod with both feet as they went for the ball and the referee waited until seeing the replay on the screen in the stadium before issuing a yellow card to Mautz for the tackle. 

Jordan Jackson made a break passing the ball to Nina Burger who was pulled down by Michelle Wenino. Becky Edwards sent the ball low to the left and Karina LeBlanc was able to slide over and block the ball while on her knees. Leaving the Dash still down 1-0.

In the second half the goal everyone had been waiting for finally happened. Becky Edwards sent a beautiful ball to second half substitute Ella Masar in the box and she finished it perfectly scoring the first home goal for the Houston Dash. Masar pulled her jersey off in celebration and earned herself a yellow card for it but no one in orange seemed to care. Unfortunately, the joy would be short lived as Chicago would answer moments later. Mautz got into the left side of the box past the defense and as McLeod came out to try and stop it she slotted the ball past her and into the net leaving the Dash down yet again. 

After a questionable call that should have gone the other way DiBernardo would send in a perfect free kick  that Jen Hoy would head in to put the Red Stars up 3-1. Moments later Dash head coach Randy Waldrum would be ejected from the game making him the first NWSL coach tossed this season. 

Stephanie Ochs continued to grow playing at left back doing a strong job defending the flank and getting the ball forward. She sent an amazing left footed ball bending toward goal but it was over the bar. She was often the player who got the ball moving forward through out the game. 

Melissa Tancredi, who was a Dash player for about two seconds, would collect two yellow cards the second for time wasting in the 89th minute and leaving Chicago to finish the game with 10 women. Despite an additional five minutes of stoppage time the Dash were unable to shrink the deficit falling 3-1.

This game saw the Dash get their first goal at home but fans are still waiting on that first home win. They show improvement with each passing game but not enough to get them over the home win hump. It will be another three games before they have the opportunity as they hit a stretch of road games that kicks off against the Washington Spirit.

Houston: McLeod; Romero, Ohale, Diggs, Ochs; Edwards, Jackson (Noyola 42'), Kyle; McCarty, Burger (Masar 46'), Ohai (Souza 60')
Chicago: LeBlanc; Quon, Johnston, Johnson, Wenino; Santacaterina (Sitch 27'), Leon (Bywaters 46'), Chalupny, DiBernardo; Mautz, Hoy (Tancredi 65')