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North Carolina Down Houston Dash 1-4

Dash can’t keep up with Courage and suffer their first loss of the season.

Houston Dash vs Chicago Red Stars March 25, 2018
Houston Dash vs Chicago Red Stars March 25, 2018
Trask Smith

Sunday was a rough one for the Houston Dash. They lost their first game of the season 1-4 to the North Carolina Courage. The Dash struggled to get quality chances with the ball often ceding ground to the Courage and allowing them too many chances in front of goal.

Jess McDonald dribbled into the box and was tripped up by Satara Murray sending her to the ground. Lynn Williams took the penalty kick for the Courage sending the ball almost right down the middle and right into the waiting arms of Jane Campbell. The PK was the third straight for the Dash in which the opponent failed to score.

It wasn’t until stoppage time of the first half that one team finally found a breakthrough goal. Abby Dahlkemper crossed the ball in from midfield and the Courage were able to head the ball down directing it towards the net. Amber Brooks and Campbell looked like they had some miscommunication as Brooks headed the ball up while Campbell looked like she was trying to punch the ball out. After Brooks popped the ball up Williams was in the area and able to get her head on it to send it into goal and give the visitors an 0-1 lead.

Even if they hadn’t scored the stoppage time goal the Courage were the stronger team in the first half. They held possession for 59.3% of the time in the first 45 minutes of the game. They also got off nine shots to Houston’s two. Of the Courage’s nine shots eight of them were on goal.

In the 60th minute it was Crystal Dunn who found the net for the Courage. Jaelene Hinkle made a short pass to Dunn who was able to get around Murray. Once she got around Murray at the edge of the box Dunn got her shot off with a tough angle on the goal. Campbell jumped up to try and grab the shot but it went over her head and into the net to give the Courage a 0-2 lead.

Nine minutes later the Courage offense continued to roll as Hinkle made her way down the side of the field. Hinkle sent in a cross but it was punched away by Campbell. The ball fell to Debinha who used one touch to settle the ball before firing a shot at goal. Campbell wasn’t able to get to the ball in time as it went past her hands and into goal to make it 0-3 Courage.

The Courage weren’t done scoring yet. Leah Pruitt scored the fourth goal on the night as she headed the ball down to put it past Campbell and into the net. The goal was the rookie’s first NWSL goal.

The Dash finally got on the score board in the 86th minute of the game. Rachel Daly worked to get around Abby Erceg after being on the receiving end of a pass from Kyah Simon. Once past her she shot the ball towards goal, finding the net and getting the Dash on the score board to make it 1-4.

While it was a disappointing result for the Dash they are on 1-1-1 on the season. Next Sunday, they host the Orlando Pride.