The Chicago Red Stars defeated the Houston Dash 2-1 in front of a record 13,025 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX.
For most of the match Houston was dominated by the league's top club. Despite Tiffany McCarty's equalizer in the 56th minute, the Red Stars quickly had an answer of their own.
Vanessa DiBernardo opened the scoring for the Red Stars in the 19th minute. Taryn Hemmings initiated the play with a ball to Alyssa Mautz down the right side. Mautz made a long run towards goal and placed her cross to a streaking DiBernardo at the back post. The 23-year-old's shot tipped off the fingers of Dash keeper Erin McLeod and into the back of the net.
The development of Kealia Ohai has been a prominent sight to see for the Dash all season and her play tonight proved the same. Ohai's perfectly placed cross to the head of Tiffany McCarty brought the Dash back from a one goal deficit. The assist marked Ohai's third assist of the season, good for the team lead.
Five minutes later, a ball played in to the box found the feet of Chicago forward Jen Hoy. Hoy took a turn, controlled the ball with her right foot and fired a left-footed strike past a diving Erin McLeod. The goal displayed the elusiveness Chicago presented throughout the match. Despite Houston's best efforts to take the lead Chicago's prominent offense once again proved why the club is atop the NWSL table.
With the loss the Dash remain in sixth place, four points out of the fourth and final playoff spot held by the Washington Spirit.
McLeod marked the first return of Houston's World Cup players and the rest are likely due back to the starting lineup in next week's match against FC Kansas City at Swope Soccer Village on July 20. Chicago will look to keep their winning ways rolling against at home against the Boston Breakers next Saturday.
Houston Dash (3-4-4; 13 points) vs Chicago Red Stars (6-1-3; 10 points)
NWSL Regular Season
July 12, 2015 — BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Houston Dash 0 1 1
Chicago Red Stars 1 1 2
Vanessa DiBernardo (Alyssa Mautz) 19'
Tiffany McCarty (Kealia Ohai) 56’
Jen Hoy 61’
CRS: Danielle Colaprico (caution) 3’
HOU: Ellie Brush (caution) 84'
Houston: Erin McLeod, Ella Masar (Jen LaPointe, Ellie Brush, Toni Pressley, Camilla (Jordan Jackson, 77'), Melissa Henderson, Niki Cross, Rachael Axon (Allie Bailey, 46’), Tiffany McCarthy, Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald
Chicago: Michelle Dalton, Gilliand, Abby Erceg, Taryn Hemmings, Samantha Johnson, Danielle Colaprico, Rachel Quon (Cara Walls, 90+3'), Vanessa Di Bernardo, Alyssa Mautz (Melissa Tancredi, 72'), Sophie Huerta, Jen Hoy (Michelle Lomnicki, 83')