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Maria Sánchez is central to the Dash’s success

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dash’s 4-3 win over the North Carolina Courage on Sunday was a wild ride full of momentum swings and end-to-end play. It was also an opportunity for Maria Sanchez to showcase her skills. Just months into her first full season with the Dash, the 26-year-old is establishing herself as central to the team – both literally and figuratively.

Sanchez started this season on the left wing. From that position, she was able to demonstrate her mastery of the ball, mesmerizing fans and humbling opponents with immaculate footwork and trickery. From nutmegs to step-overs and drag-backs, she brought that rare combination of excitement and effectiveness. Her first assist for Houston, in the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup versus Racing Louisville, was a good example. First came the skills show, then came the precise low cross from the end line for Marisa Viggiano to tap in.

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