Houston came out on the front foot and Marisa Viggiano’s class finish gave the Dash an early lead. Ryan Gareis drove forward down the middle and picked out Viggiano in tons of space on the right. The Dash midfielder cut inside on to her left foot and smashed a perfect strike past Aubrey Kingsbury to give Houston the lead after 14 minutes.
Washington fought back and found their equalizer thanks to the ever-dangerous Trinity Rodman. The young star attacker got in on the right hand side past Dash fullback Allysha Chapman. The Canadian tried to kick for the ball put instead caught Rodman, sending Washington to the spot. Jane Campbell guessed the right way on the penalty kick but Washington captain Andi Sullivan placed it perfectly to even the score in the 36th minute.
Houston brought Michelle Alozie on to begin the second half, in place of Chapman, and she nearly made an immediate impact just moments after stepping on the field. The Nigerian international got some space at the top of the box and got a shot off that had Kingsbury beat but was denied by the crossbar.
Ebony Salmon was the second Dash player to rattle the bar as her effort came back off the woodwork in the 55th minute. The third time hitting the crossbar turned out to be the charm for Houston. Alozie lofted a cross in to the back post that Nichelle Prince was able to get a head on. Her attempt came down off the bar and deflected off Spirit defender Julia Roddar and just trickled over the line to give the Dash the lead.
Houston now waits for the result of the Kansas City Current match against Racing Louisville that is going on right now. A Louisville win would give the Dash a home match in the first round of the playoffs. A Kansas City win or draw would send Houston to San Diego to take on Wave FC in a playoff debut for both clubs. We’ll keep you updated on Twitter once the first round playoff match up is decided.