The morning of the National Women’s Soccer League opening day, the Houston Dash announced that they signed midfielder Caity Heap. Due to league and club policy, the terms of the signing have not been disclosed, but the Texan native is whole heartedly welcomed by the fans, team, and club as they searched for someone who could fill the open slot in the midfield position when Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd are gone for international camps in preparation of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
"I’m really excited for Caity to sign her first professional contract with the Houston Dash." Houston head coach Randy Waldrum said per team statement. "She is a player I’ve had my eye on since before the college draft. Her head coach, Tom Stone at Texas Tech, kept me updated on her progress, and I was delighted when she became available for us."
Heap, a two-time USYS National Champion with her club team (Sting ’95) helped lead McKinney Boyd High School to a 2011 State Championship title and was named to the 5A All-State team. As a senor in high school, Heap tore her ACL, but that didn’t stop her from committing, signing, working hard to recover, playing for, and becoming a stand out for Texas Tech’s women’s soccer team proving her dedication to the program and sport. The forward for the Red Raiders scored four goals and had five assists in her final year at Texas Tech. In the entirety of her career in Lubbock she appeared in 80 games with 13 goals and 13 assists.
"It’s a blessing." Heap said in an interview. "I’ve worked so hard for this and for Randy to give me the opportunity, I really appreciate that... I’m very excited for the season and it is really an honor to make the final roster." Undrafted, Heap was invited to participate in a multi-day tryout camp for the Dash and she obviously made a huge impression. Heap was brought into the preseason roster where she trained and played with the first team. Heap also started in four of the five preseason matches where she got a goal playing against Baylor.
The McKinney, Texas native said she informed her parents immediately and also noted that they will be making quite a few trips to BBVA Compass Stadium to watch her professional career unfold as they’ve purchased season tickets. Heap also mentioned that she will have a crowd of supporters when the team travels to Orlando for the Dash’s first away game of the season since she has family in Tampa Bay.
Heap joins the team and transitions from the college game to the professional game with fellow Texas Tech alumna Janine Beckie. "It’s great [to play on the same team]. I didn’t know anyone else when I arrived and I knew I could always talk to her," Heap said in regards to playing with Beckie. "On the field, we connect really well; we played together for four years. It shows on the field."
In the closing third of the 3-1 win season opening game for the Houston Dash, Heap was able to make her NWSL debut after the Dash substituted Beckie, Kealia Ohai, and Andressa for Chioma Ubogagu, Stephanie Ochs, and Heap. Heap was able to show the kind of depth that she brought to the roster in front of a home crowd of 7,440. The Dash will head to Florida for a match against the Orlando Pride next Saturday.