Houston Dash fans — along with the team and coaching staff — breathed a deep sigh of relief last week as the team came through on a 3-0 rout of the Portland Thorns, ending a long, frustrating winless streak. Now, the ladies travel to Chicago, hoping to keep spirits high and build the momentum for another win.
The Chicago Red Stars will be looking to build as well — the Red Stars have had their fair share of offensive struggles this season as well. Before their win last week against the Orlando Pride, they had been nursing three consecutive losses where they did not even notch a goal.
Working in Houston's favor this weekend will be the fact Chicago's ranks will be without forward Christen Press and defender Julie Johnston. That doesn't mean there isn't danger in possible line ups. The Dash will have to keep their eyes on forward Sofia Huerta, midfielder Danielle Colaprico, and midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
Huerta has been a go-to scorer for the Red Stars; this season she's netted three goals and her first assist came last weekend against Orlando. Colaprico and DiBernardo both can be deadly on set pieces, and have five assists between them this year.
The Dash were able to bring their six-straight losses run to an end last week, with forward Kealia Ohai leading the charge. It was her assist to forward Rachel Daly to break that 577-minute scoreless streak, and after that, Houston did not hold back.
The trick this weekend will be to repeat that success on the road, which has not been the strong suit of the Dash this season. They are tied with Orlando for the second worst road record in the league. But, Houston started off their season at home with a win against Chicago. Hopefully with the confidence of last weekend, coupled with the knowledge they can beat the Stars just as soundly, the Dash stand a good chance to extend their winning ways.
The final regular season meeting of 2016 between Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars in Chicago kicks off at 7 p.m. You can watch the stream live on houstondashsoccer.com/live.