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Houston Dash vs Washington Spirit Preview: Dash to take on Spirit

Carli Lloyd expected to extended scoring streak

Trask Smith

After a heart-stopping goal and performance Wednesday against FC Kansas City, midfielder Carli Lloyd and the Houston Dash head east to take on the Washington Spirit Saturday.

The Dash have started working its U.S. International players back into regular rotation and its clearly paying off. During their midweek game against FCKC, Houston may have given up the first goal for the first time all season, but they came back to notch the win. The goal that sealed it for the Dash was from Lloyd, who took a strike from 30 yards in the final five minutes of the match and hit the back of the net.

Forward Jessica McDonald continues to be an offensive force for the Dash. She and Defender Ellie Brush scored the first two goals for Houston in the first half. McDonald's goal was her sixth of 2015 and ties her for third most goals in the league this season.

On another note, the Dash will say farewell to defender Niki Cross, who announced earlier this week that she will retire from women's professional soccer after Saturday's game. Cross has played professionally for eight years.

Currently sitting in fourth place in league, the Dash have been consistent this season. With the international players back, the hope is the consistency will continue and keep them in playoff contention.

The Washington Spirit are coming off a 1-1 draw with the league's second-place Chicago Red Stars. Crystal Dunn is the forward to watch on this team. Her 2015 season has been filled with goals - she currently leads the NWSL with nine goals. Her late goal against Chicago was her third in the last four games.

Lloyd and McDonald will have to battle against Spirit's keeper Ashlyn Harris, who tallied four saves in Chicago match. Washington is undefeated in home matches and the game Saturday will be the final time they host these season.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. CT.