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Rachel Daly’s brace leads Dash to second straight victory

Daly sparks Houston’s winnning streak.

Rachel Daly celebrates her goal against the Washington Spirit (Dash vs Spirit 5-27-18)
Trask Smith

The Houston Dash earned its second straight victory with a 3-2 win over the Washington Spirit at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Rachel Daly scored a brace to lead the Dash to its best performance of the season. Daly scored her first goal of the match just before halftime. Nichelle Prince made a long run and found a streaking Daly inside the box and she finished the play with a one-time strike into the back of the net.

Kealia Ohai opened the second-half with her first goal of the season. Ohai curled a left-footed strike from outside the box, off the far post and past Spirit goalkeeper Audrey Bledsoe to give Houston a 2-0 lead.

The Spirit was awarded a penalty kick in the 51st minute after Lindsay Agnew fouled Mallory Pugh was fouled in the box. Pugh stepped up to the penalty spot but her strike was stopped by Jane Campbell.

Three minutes later, Estefania Banini got one back for the Spirit. Banini received Taylor Smith’s cross at the far post and scored her first goal of the season to cut Houston’s lead down to 2-1.

Daly’s second goal of the match in the 78th minute, cemented Houston’s victory. Thembi Kgatlana sprinted past Washington’s backline, goalkeeper Bledsoe, and passed the ball to a wide open Daly. The forward made a long run towards the open goal and rolled the ball into the net.

Ashley Hatch scored a late Spirit goal but Houston held on for a 3-2 win. The Dash earned the victory despite the early loss of Kristie Mewis. Mewis went down with an injury to her left knee in the 13th minute and was later carted off the field in the 19th minute and replaced by Haley Hanson.

With the victory, the Dash move up to fifth place with a 3-4-4 record (13 points) and now sit just four points away from Portland Thorns FC, who hold the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Dash will look to earn their third straight victory next Sunday against the North Carolina Courage at BBVA Compass Stadium.