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Hagen nets brace to help Dash playoff hopes

Sarah Hagen’s two goal performance led Houston to a 3-1 victory over Boston.

Houston Dash vs Washington Spirit 7-15-17
Trask Smith

Sarah Hagen’s breakout two-goal performance led the Houston Dash to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Breakers at Jordan Field in Boston on Wednesday night.

With Carli Lloyd out with an ankle sprain, Hagen made the most of her opportunity in the starting eleven, finding the back of the net twice, both following great attacking build-ups from the Dash attack.

Poliana received a great through ball from Andressa and placed a shot on frame, but Breakers keeper Abby Smith dove to her right to make a terrific save. Hagen leaped on the loose ball and launched a left-footed strike into the back of the net.

Natasha Dowie scored Boston’s lone goal of the match in the 26th minute. Midge Purce made a long run down the right flank, floated a cross towards the far post and Dowie leaped above Amber Brooks and headed the ball into the open net. The Breakers attack improved throughout the match but was unable to find the back of the net for a second time.

Hagen’s 10th-minute goal came after a violent collision between Smith and Rachel Daly. Smith attempted to punch the ball away from goal, but instead connected with Daly after she placed a header towards the net

Hagen pounced on the rebound and volleyed her finish into the open goal.

Canadian international forwards Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie linked-up in the 64th minute for Houston’s second goal of the match. Prince threaded a through ball past two Breakers defenders to Beckie, who managed to stay onside and stuck the upper corner with her finish.

The win marked Houston’s seventh of the season and the club is now only four points back of Seattle Reign FC, who currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot. Houston will look to continue to gain ground in the playoff race in their next road match on Saturday against the Portland Thorns at Providence Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 pm CT.