“This team is getting stronger and stronger because every single player is as important as the next and that includes the players on the bench or the players in the stands. This team is working constantly, every single day to get better and the way we play – you can see that it is not about one or two players. It is about a team performance, it was a team effort and that is what we want to highlight throughout this season.”
Houston Dash head coach Vera Pauw
A Sofia Huerta brace and two assists by Rachel Daly led the Houston Dash to a 4-0 win over the Washington Spirit. The win marked the most in a season by the franchise and the most goals in team history for one match. It was a win highlighted by unselfish play time and time again.
Team captain Kealia Ohai opened the scoring in the 41st minute. Midfielder Linda Mothalo sent an outlet pass to a streaking Rachel Daly on a counter. The forward delivered a perfectly weighted ball to Ohai who drilled home the one timer and Houston led 1-0. The assist was Daly’s first of the season to go with her team high nine goals.
Houston went to the half with a one goal lead. In their previous four wins over the Spirit, Houston had led 1-0 at the half.
Houston continued to press the tempo and nearly doubled the score in the 54th minute when Daly sent a no look pass into space where it found a sprinting Veronica Latsko. Latsko’s attempt was blocked at fell at the feet Huerta who sent it over the frame.
Four minutes later, Huerta would not miss. Houston’s Taylor Comeau pulled two Spirit defenders towards her before slipping the ball to the former Chicago Red Stars midfielder who did not miss. For the rookie Comeau, it was a perfect example of the growth, poise and unselfishness of the Houston Dash.
Eighteen minutes later, the teamwork was evident again. Daly as the playmaker, danced, teased and all but dared the Spirit defender to try to stop her before sending a ball to Huerta for the brace and a 3-0 lead. It was the Boise, Idaho native’s seventh of the season tying her career high.
“Yeah, Sofia has got a lot of skill sets—something different that we haven’t had,” said Daly about the effort. “Her work rate is something again that we haven’t had and I think that changes her game completely on how hard she works and it’s good to see her get two goals tonight and see the hard work pay off.”
The final goal of the night came as Latsko replicating Comeau and Daly before her drew the defenders and then slotting the ball to Kyah Simon. The Australian in her return from national team duty banged it home for the historic capper.
“It’s crazy, it’s the first I heard of it (franchise record for wins), and I feel like it’s a proud moment for us as a team,” said Simon reflecting on the moment. “We definitely stuck together this season, and it’s great that we can go into a game and walk away with the three points, and obviously we need the goals as a team. I’m really proud of the girls, it’s been a long season, but we’re still not out of it yet, we got a few games left. We can really build on this and take some things away from it and take some confidence and belief that we can take into Seattle next week as well.”
Houston (8-8-5, 29 points) sits a point out of the playoffs with three games remaining. They travel to Seattle for a Tuesday night match with the Reign before returning home for a Saturday night tilt with Carli Lloyd and Sky Blue FC (0-14-4, 4 points).