A strong effort from Houston’s backline and goalkeeper Jane Campbell prevented the loss of three points for the Houston Dash. Campbell made five saves to lead the Dash to a scoreless draw against Utah Royals FC at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night.
Vera Pauw’s decision to continue to play Kristie Mewis and Rachel Daly as outside backs continued to reap benefits defending Utah’s attack.
Royals FC midfielder Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir tested Campbell early in the match, launching a free kick attempt from just outside the box towards the upper 90, but the Dash keeper leaped to punch the ball over the bar.
Erika Tymrak provided an influx of energy and provided Utah with their best chance of the night in the 71st minute. Royals FC midfielder Diana Matheson sprung teammate Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir free for a 1v1 attempt on goal and Campbell stopped her attempt with a leg save. The ball fell to Tymrak but she placed her rebound attempt wide of the open goal.
Houston’s attack was largely unable to sustain cohesion and find its way past Utah’s strong backline. Linda Molthalo, Veronica Latsko, and Kimberly Keever showed spurts of strong play. Before halftime, Molthalo played a perfectly weighted ball into the box and Keever miss hit her attempt wide of goal. The promising rookie rushed her chance to put the Dash ahead of Utah and net her second career goal.
Canadian international Nichelle Prince made her season debut entering the match as a substitute for Latsko in the second half.
The Dash will look to continue their confident start when they return to action on the road against the Chicago Red Stars on April 18.