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The Dash lose game late against Utah Royals FC

Christen Press and Katie Stengel strike a blow to Houston’s slim playoff hopes

Trask Smith

The Utah Royals made a late push to earn a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Dash on Sunday night.

Katie Stengel provided the Royals with the game-winning-goal in the 83rd minute. Stengel received a through ball from Erika Tymrak and chipped Jane Campbell.

Christen Press made her first appearance in Houston since being trade away and was welcomed with a chorus of boos. However, Press had the final laugh netting the equalizer in the 77th minute to level the score at 1-1. The striker intercepted a ball misplayed by Amber Brooks and placed her finish past a diving Campbell and into the back of the net.

Before Press’ equalizer the Dash looked poised to increase their lead. Houston had a few attacking key opportunities but were unable to find a way past Nicole Barnhart.

In the 66th minute, Sofia Huerta sped past Utah’s backline and went 1v1 with Nicole Barnhart but the Royals keeper deflected her strike away from goal. And Kyah Simon’s rebound attempt sailed way over the bar.

Two minutes later, Barnhart also stopped Nichelle Prince strike from blank range. Barnhart made four saves in the victory, as Houston’s tallied 16 total shots (five on goal).

Veronica Latsko opened the scoring for Houston with a goal in the 41st minute. Sofia Huerta struck her free kick towards the edge of the six-yard box and Latsko’s headed the ball towards the far corner.

With the loss, Houston fall to seventh place with 23 points (6-8-5 record), while the Royals move up to sixth place with 25 points (6-6-7 record). Portland Thorns FC hold the fourth and final playoff spot at 29 points (8-6-5 record).

The Dash will look to get back on track on the road against Sky Blue FC next Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm CT.