Two quick second-half goals by Chioma Ubogagu and Denise O'Sullivan propelled Houston to a victory over reigning two-time champions FC Kansas City.
As each goal was notably scored and assisted by a player who wasn't on Houston's 2015 roster, the win helps shine a spotlight on Houston's management and their offseason and preseason acquisitions. The victory is another testament to the series of moves which have proved to revamp the club this season.
In the 69th minute, O'Sullivan capitalized on a pass from Ubogagu and placed her strike inside the far post, for her first goal of the season. Two minutes later, Rachel Daly fed Ubogagu into the box with a through pass. Ubogagu fended of a final defender and tucked a left-footed finish under a diving Barnhart, for also her first goal of the season.
Despite the 2-1 final outcome, the match was in no way a one-sided affair. In the 20th minute, Kansas City midfielder Mandy Laddish fired a rocket from outside the box, forcing Dash keeper Williams to make a spectacular diving save. FC Kansas City peppered Williams with shots throughout the first half and seemed likely to score first, but were unable to put one away. Their lone goal of the match came in the 87th minute, as Yael Averbuch converted a penalty kick, after a Dash defender committed a handball in the box. With the loss, Kansas City still remains winless, dropping to a 0-3-1 overall record this season.
Houston's victory also marked the start of Dash defender Cari Roccaro's NWSL career. Houston's fifth overall selection in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, Roccaro made her professional debut as a substitute for Ellie Brush in the 84th minute.
The Dash will look to close out their two-game road trip with a second win, 7pm next Saturday against the Washington Spirit at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
84' Dash substitution: Roccaro in for Brush. #KCvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) May 8, 2016
67' Dash substitution: Ohai in for Beckie #KCvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) May 8, 2016
Dash substitution: O'Sullivan in for Brian. #KCvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) May 8, 2016