The hottest team in the National Women’s Soccer League met the best team in the National Women’s League on Sunday night and when the final whistle blew, nothing had changed. The Houston Dash still remained the hottest team while the North Carolina Courage remained unbeaten through 12 games after the two fought to a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Minimal scoring opportunities dotted the pitch through the first half despite seven minutes of added stoppage time. The second half was a different story as each side countered back and forth creating moments for their respective offenses.
Last week it was the 46th minute for the Kealia Ohai’s goal of the match....this week it was the 49th minute for the Houston Dash team captain putting the Courage on the cusp of defeat for the next 31 minutes.
North Carolina’s moment came in the 80th minute as a ball deflected by Frannie Crouse, the rookie forward who had come on in the 63rd minute, found the back of the net. The 2018 10th overall pick re-signed just three days earlier as a national team replacement player and scored the equalizer in her pro debut.
Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell described the disappointment in the result saying “We’re all disappointed on the tie today. We’re taking it as a loss.”
Ohai echoed those sentiments adding, “It’s frustrating to tie this game.”
The draw dampened what had been an exciting stretch for the Dash seeing them score 11 goals in their last seven matches, turning what had been a gut wrenching start into a promising second half. Houston ended the first half of the season on a run that saw them win three, draw three, and lose just once since opening the season with a two draws and three consecutive shutout defeats.
Dash head coach Vera Pauw summed up the Dash’s expectations concluding, “It should be nine out of nine (last three home games). So 1-1 to them (NC Courage), before the game if you would tell me I would have been happy with it, but looking at the game and the chances that we missed I’m disappointed. If there was one moment that we could have taken the three points, it could have been today.”
Houston (3-4-5, 14 points) return to action following the FIFA break on June 22, 2018 at home against the Portland Thorns FC. Kick-off is slated for 7:30 PM central time.