The Seattle Reign end a road-game losing streak dating back to September 2016 with a 2-0 decisive win over the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The two clubs previously met in week two of 2017 NWSL action, with Seattle coming away victorious, five goals to one.
It was a hot one in Houston, with the temperature marked at 92 degrees Fahrenheit and a heat index of 100 plus. The two clubs battled early on in the heat, with big runs from both sides and great looks on goal early in the match. The NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week tipped off at 3 p.m. local time, and it is hard to ignore the heat being a factor in play. In the closing seconds of the match, Houston’s star forward Rachel Daly went stumbling down in apparent dehydration and was hurriedly carted off the field to receive medical attention.
Houston came running early in the 2nd minute with a pass from Kealia Ohai to Janine Beckie with a center box shot that was too high. The Reign answered quickly, with one of their first great looks on goal in the 9th minute off a Megan Rapinoe pass to Beverly Yanez for a shot that was also too high.
The back and forth of speedy offensive runs had Houston caught offsides in the 9th and 17th minutes on runs that should have ended in goals in the first half. Then, in a clear run for the Dash, Beckie had a defender one-on-one and missed just to the right of the goal from six yards out.
In a tough battle on the pitch and with great tackles to save the ball from both sides, Beverly Yanez went down on one of those tackles in the 22nd minute after a cleat to the right knee. She was carted off and taken to receive stitches. Katie Johnson would replace her on the injury substitution.
Houston would then have two more looks as Nichelle Prince took a right-footed shot from the right side of the box that hit the bar in the 29th minute and Ohai had her shot blocked from outside of the box. Racing to the other end of the pitch, Rapinoe took a shot on goal in the 30th minute that would deflect off Houston’s Cari Roccaro for an own goal. The clubs would go to halftime after an additional seven minutes in stoppage time with the Reign up 1-0.
The second half seemed to bring the same type of play, as both teams again raced in the scolding heat up and down the pitch. Houston would have the first good look in the 49th minute as Prince hit the left post assisted by Denise O’Sullivan. Seattle would respond though, and in the 64th minute, the Reign’s Johnson capitalized on an assist from Nahomi Kawasumi on a ball that was just over the Dash keeper’s glove to put the Reign up 2-0.
Though Houston would still have their chances, it would not be enough. Reign Goal Keeper Haley Kopmeyer and the goal posts would have their say, even with a notable Beckie assist to Andressa in the 94th minute that hit the left post from the far right side that still has soccer fans everywhere bewildered it didn’t go into the net.
Houston would end the game with a total of 26 shots to Seattle’s 10, 13 corner kicks to 1, and 9 of their own shots blocked. The Dash are now on a four game losing streak and will look to end their skid against the Washington Spirit on June 3 in Maryland with a 7 p.m. ET kick-off.
The Seattle Reign will look to continue to improve their road record as they face the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday June 4 at 3 p.m. ET. Reign forward Kawasumi is still the league leader in assists, with today’s assist putting her at 5 for the season, and undoubtedly many more to come.