Leading NWSL MVP candidate Crystal Dunn continued her tear through the NWSL Saturday night, in a 1-0 Washington Spirit victory over the Houston Dash. Dunn netted her league leading seventh goal in the 56th minute. Dunn dribbled through the box and cut around Nikki Cross to deliver a magnificent left-footed strike off the crossbar and past diving Dash keeper Bianca Henninger.
The Dash dropped a match that featured consistent effort from the road club. Kealia Ohai pounded the Spirit backline early and often with opportunities for goal. As a team the Dash created 13 shots, four of which were on goal to forcing Spirit keeper Kelsey Wys to make four saves.
Searching for a goal in the dying minutes of regular time, Ohai blasted a shot to the far post but was denied by Wys who made a diving stop. Ohai made another run at an equalizer in the 87th minute with a run into the box but she was knocked off the ball by a defender and no foul was called on the play. Just before Dunn's goal, Ohai a marvelous opportunity of her own pushing forward off a turnover but her shot from range was tipped past the post.
Dunn who's been on fire wit seven goals in ten games, nearly scored her eighth in stoppage time. The forward beat three defenders but Henninger's diving stop kept her from netting a brace. Christine Nairn whose made a living beating teams on set pieces, had her corner kick volleyed on target by Tori Huster. Camila stood tall and blocked the ball of the line.
Randy Waldrum will look to use Saturday's loss as a building block for the club's eventual goal of making the playoffs. Houston stayed in stride with the now first-place Spirit for most of the match, with the magnificent play of Crystal Dunn being the difference.
The Dash will look to avenge the loss July 12, at home against the Chicago Red Stars. Washington will look to continue their three game unbeaten streak against FC Kansas City on July 3.
Houston Dash (3-3-4; 13 points) vs Washington Spirit (5-3-2; 17 points)
NWSL Regular Season
June 27, 2015 — Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, MD.
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Houston Dash 0 0 0
Washington Spirit 0 1 1
WSH: Crystal Dunn (Toni Pressley) 56’
HOU: Ellie Brush (misconduct) 78’
HOU: Camilla (misconduct) 55’
Houston: Bianca Henninger, Ella Masar, Ellie Brush, Toni Pressely, Camila (Jen LaPonte, 68’), Tiffany McCarty, Niki Cross, Rachael Axon (Allie Bailey, 78’), Melissa Henderson (Jordan Jackson, 72’), Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald
Washington: Kelsey Wys, Caprice Dydasco, Megan Oyster, Whitney Church, Angela Salem, Christine Nairn, Laura del Rio (Tiffany Weimer, 90+) , Amanda Da Costa (Jennifer Skogerboe, 90+2) , Joanna Lohman, Crystal Dunn, Tori Huster