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Dash’s Chapman key against Red Stars

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Houston Dash earn second straight draw

Trask Smith

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr nearly prevented the Houston Dash from earning its second draw in less than a week. With the score level at 2-2, Alyssa Mautz delivered a cross to Kerr near the penalty spot. Dash defender Allysha Chapman challenged the Australian international and Kerr launched her strike well over the crossbar.

Chapman’s strong defensive play helped lead Houston to a 2-2 draw against the Red Stars on Saturday night at Toyota Park.

Houston’s backline needed a strong veteran presence against Chicago’s crafty attack. Despite strong performances from Chapman and Kimberly Keever who held her own against Kerr, the Dash made a few costly mistakes, none worse than Janine Van Wyk’s back pass to Jane Campbell in the 20th minute.

Van Wyk’s pass forced Campbell to make an errant pass to Amber Brooks, Arin Gilliland intercepted the ball and Sam Kerr slotted home an easy finish to level the score at 1-1.

Houston opened the second half with a goal on a perfectly executed set piece. In the 48th minute, Rachel Daly struck a short through ball, Kyah Simon played the ball forward and Kristie Mewis fired a left-footed strike into the top corner for a 2-1 lead.

The Red Stars equalized on a penalty kick in the 64th minute after Amber Brooks committed a controversial handball. Sofia Huerta chipped her penalty kick attempt into the top right corner, as Jane Campbell dove the wrong way.

Rachel Daly opened the scoring with a breakaway goal in the sixth minute. Nichelle Prince played Daly through and Dash forward chipped the ball past a diving Alyssa Naeher.

The match marked Chapman’s Dash debut since being acquired from the North Carolina Courage. With the draw, Houston remains in seventh place and its record now sits at 1-3-4. The Dash return to action on the road in the NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week against Utah Royals FC next Saturday.