Kealia Ohai opened 2017 exhibiting the same strong form she showed to close out last season, to lead the Houston Dash to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars in the home opener at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ohai opened the scoring in the 15th minute, netting the first goal of the new season. The 25-year-old utilized her speed to get on the end of a through ball from Amber Brooks and tucked home her finish into the right corner and past Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher.
In the first half, Christen Press consistently put an enormous amount of pressure on the Dash backline. The striker routinely found her way around the Dash backline down the right flank, but couldn’t find a way to finish in the final third.
The Dash dominated possession in the second half and the club’s new backline, with the offseason additions Bruna and Janine Van Wyk, played well enough to shut out the Red Stars attack.
Rachel Daly scored the goal of the match—and potentially of the week—in the 80th minute on a play assisted by Ohai. Daly dribbled a few yards into the top of box, made a quick turn on defender Casey Short and placed a perfect left-footed curl into the upper 90 of the far post, just inches below the crossbar to cap the match at 2-0.
The Dash will face Seattle Reign FC next Saturday, in the first match of a three-game road trip. Houston has yet to defeat Seattle in their history.