The Houston Dash experienced a disappointing 1-0 loss at their home stadium to the Chicago Red Stars on Friday evening. Despite putting up a strong fight, they were unable to secure a victory, with the sole goal coming in the second half.
Early Chances for Houston Dash
The game started with an early opportunity for the Houston Dash in the third minute. Dash forward Ebony Salmon applied pressure on the right side of the field, playing the ball into the box where forward Ryan Gareis attempted a shot. Unfortunately, a Chicago defender blocked Gareis’ effort, and the Red Stars’ backline swiftly recovered, clearing the ball to safety.
In the eighth minute, midfielder Marisa Viggiano had a shot on goal, which ended up in the hands of Chicago goalkeeper Emily Boyd. Viggiano made another attempt in the same minute, narrowly missing the inside of the near post.
Defensive Resilience and Near Misses
Defender Ally Prisock came close to scoring her second career regular season goal in the 14th minute. Prisock received a pass from defender Caprice Dydasco on the far post, but her shot was deflected on the goal line by forward Ella Stevens, preventing the Dash from taking the lead.
Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell demonstrated her skills in the 19th minute, making a crucial save when the Chicago attack managed to breach the Dash backline. Campbell’s save, made just seven yards away from her goal line, kept Houston in the game.
The 38th minute saw the Dash nearly score on a transition play. Gareis made a run down the near sideline and delivered a cross into the box, narrowly evading forward Diana Ordóñez, who was following closely behind.
Late First Half Drama
In the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time, Chicago’s Bianca St. Georges applied pressure on the Dash backline. Campbell made the initial save, and Dydasco swiftly cleared the ball away from danger, preventing a late goal for the Red Stars.
Second Half Efforts
The Houston Dash started the second half with consecutive shots on goal. Forward María Sánchez came close to finding Ordóñez in the center of the penalty area, but Boyd managed to gather the ball before the Mexican international could capitalize on the opportunity.
Salmon almost found the back of the net in the 56th minute, taking a shot directly on goal. Boyd made the initial save, but the ball slipped out of her hands, creating a chance for Ordóñez. However, Boyd quickly recovered and handled the ball, denying the Dash a goal-scoring opportunity.
Chicago’s Winning Goal
The turning point of the match came in the 69th minute when forward Penelope Hocking capitalized on a misdirected ball, securing the lead for the Chicago Red Stars.
Late Opportunities for the Dash
In the 76th minute, Salmon had a chance to equalize after Boyd punched away a corner kick. Salmon’s shot, however, sailed just over the crossbar, leaving the Dash without a goal.
During the third minute of second-half stoppage time, Salmon and Dydasco nearly linked up for an equalizer. Salmon made a perfectly timed run on the near side and took a shot, but it was blocked by a Chicago defender, denying the Dash once again.
Looking ahead, the Houston Dash will travel to Kansas City on July 22 to face the Current in their second game of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup group play. Their next home match at Shell Energy Stadium will take place on July 29 at 7:30pm CT against Racing Louisville FC, marking their final home game of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup group play.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Houston Dash’s journey in the tournament.