The Houston Dash took to the road to face off with Racing Louisville in the second game of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup for both teams on Friday evening at Lynn Family Stadium. Things got off to a bad start for Houston, but then rebounded in the second half to give the Dash the 3-2 win.
Former Texas Tech Red Raider Kirsten Davis got the home side on the board first. Sophie Schmidt’s back pass was a poor one and left Katie Naughton and Jane Campbell in a mess. Davis did well to pounce and score her first professional goal in the 16th minute.
Five minutes before halftime, Louisville doubled their lead. Good wide play from the home team set up a dangerous opportunity. Katie Naughton was able to head away the initial cross but only as far as Jess McDonald. McDonald wrapped her right foot around the ball and volleyed in her first goal for Racing. The Dash went into half reeling, searching for an offensive spark.
The Dash came out looking dangerous in the second half and they got their goal in the 56th minute. Rachel Daly served in a set piece from the left and the ball pinged around in the box. Maria Sanchez got her laces through a left-footed volley and scored to make it 2-1.
Just two minutes later it was Sanchez again, making magic happen on the end line. Bombi squared the ball across goal and Marisa Viggiano was on hand to tap in the equalizer to make it 2-2.
The Dash turned things all the way around in the 65th minute when Racing Louisville were whistled for a hand ball in the box. Captain Rachel Daly stepped to the spot and buried the penalty kick to give Houston the 3-2 lead.
Mexican Maria Sanchez was the star of the match, when the team needed a spark she stepped up with a goal and an assist to lead the remarkable comeback. The Dash return home to face Kansas City Current in their next NWSL Challenge Cup on Wednesday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM CT at PNC Stadium.