Kealia Ohai shot into the lead in the golden boot race with her second brace of the week to lead the Houston Dash to a 4-2 victory over the Orlando Pride on Saturday night. The win technically kept the Dash in the playoff race while the expansion Pride were officially eliminated on suffering their fifth loss in succession. The Pride had defeated the Dash in three previous meetings this season.
Janine Beckie opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when the Pride defense allowed Carli Lloyd’s cross to sneak all the way across the box after Ohai led the charge up the left flank. The goal was Beckie’s second of the season and first since opening day.
The match stayed 1-0 into halftime, but it took the Dash less than three minutes after the break to add to the lead. A corner kick went off heads and landed at the feet of Poliana. Her first shot was saved by Ashlyn Harris but she did not get a solid clearance on it and Poliana followed up to bury it for 2-0. It was the first goal in a Dash shirt for the Brazilian defender. Ohai joined the party in the 63rd minute when she curled a long-distance shot into the upper corner to render Harris helpless. The shot came at the end of an extended sequence of possession by the Dash.
There was no quit in the Pride though. In the 08th minute, Alex Morgan peeled off the wall to take a free kick from Kristen Edmonds and got the Pride on the board with a left-footed shot to the far post. An unruly fan came on to the pitch in an attempt to join the Pride celebration but was quickly shooed off by Pride coach Tom Sermanni. Edmonds then scored in the 87th minute. After the Dash were unable to get a corner kick turned up field, the ball eventually fell to Edmonds in the box and she hammered it off the top if the goal and in. It was Edmonds’s team-leading fifth goal of the season and the third for Morgan.
Ohai was not done though. Deep in stoppage time the Dash caught the Pride on a counter and Beckie fed Ohai who placed her shot perfectly to beat Harris and score her second goal of the night and league-leading ninth of the season. It was her fourth goal in two games this week and the first ever Dash draft pick has now scored in five straight games and six out of seven.
Both teams now face Wednesday road matches. The Dash (5-8-4, 19 pts) are in Portland while the Pride (6-11-0, 18 pts) are at Sky Blue FC. The Pride’s 17th straight match without a draw extended their NWSL record.