The Houston Dash dropped their second match of the season in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
Christen Press led Chicago to a dominant victory, as the Red Stars led in possession and forced Houston to play a brand of soccer they aren’t accustomed to playing.
Press made life difficult for the Dash throughout the match, but especially over the course of the second half, as the U.S. international was in full pursuit for her first goal of the season. Press routinely utilized her speed down either flank and cut into the box to create chances for the Red Stars.
Press initiated the play that resulted in Julie Ertz's second goal of the season in the 61st minute. Following a knee-on-knee collision between Arin Gilliand and Kealia Ohai, Press curled a cross into the box from the right flank, Danielle Colaprico found a touch on the ball, and Ertz volleyed home her finish to put the Red Stars up 2-0 over the Dash.
Just before the half, Colaprico forced Houston to commit an own goal. The Red Stars midfielder served a free kick into the box and Houston Dash forward Sarah Hagen inadvertently headed the ball behind Lydia Williams and into the back of her own net.
Kealia Ohai had Houston’s best opportunity of the match to get on the scoreboard. Ohai attacked defender Casey Short with a 1v1 run, cut back to her right foot past her defender and placed a strike on goal, but her attempt was stopped by Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher.
Morgan Brian made her first appearance of the season, as a substitute in the 71st minute and had an instant impact on the match, improving Houston’s connecting play between the defense and attack in the final third, a key issue the Dash have struggled with throughout the season. Brian created a great scoring opportunity for the Dash in the 90+1' minute. The midfielder played a ball over the top to Nichelle Prince, as the Canadian international made a dead run towards the 18-yard-box.
As the ball fell to Prince, Red Stars defender Katie Naughton went down and provided Prince with a 1V1 chance on Naeher, but her strike from close range was stopped by the keeper.
With the loss, Houston now has a 2-2-0 record. The Dash return to BBVA Compass Stadium next Saturday against Sky Blue FC.