The Spirit played host to the Houston Dash for a Memorial Day match up yesterday afternoon, coming away with a 3-2 victory and moving up to (4-4-1) and 5th place in the NWSL standings.
The Dash played without Head Coach Randy Waldrum after he was sent off in their game Friday night against the Chicago Red Stars.
In the 4th minute of the match, Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod came out to deal with a back pass under pressure from Spirit forward Jodie Taylor. Her clearance fell to Diana Matheson, who played a left-footed chip in to the far post, putting the Spirit up 1-0.
Just 8 minutes later, Dash midfielder Kaylyn Kyle drove a cross low into the box, finding an unmarked Nina Burger, who slotted it easily past goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to level the score at 1-1.
In the 20th minute The Spirit almost pulled ahead again in the 20th minute with a rip from the top of the 18 from Christine Nairn that forced an impressive extension save from McLeod.
Taylor was able to put the Spirit up 2-1 in the 38th minute with a well-placed shot into the side netting after a brilliant ball played over the top by Matheson.
The Spirit took the 2-1 lead into the half. Head coach Mark Parson’s made one change at halftime as Danesha Adams entered the game for Veronica Perez, the first time she’s seen the field in a few games. The Dash also made one change, bringing on Kealia Ohai for Rafaelle Souza.
The second half showed that both sides were capable of being dangerous, though there wasn’t much to show for it in the first 20 minutes
In the 77th minute, Houston again pulled level with the Spirit when Osinachi Ohale got her head on the end of a Stephanie Ochs corner kick, tying the game 2-2.
The game wouldn’t be decided until the 90th minute when Nairn picked up a ball outside the 18-yard box and struck a beautifully placed ball into the upper 90 corner, leaving McLeod no chance to reach it.
The win moves the Spirit to 5th place with a 4-4-1 record and 13 points through their nine games. The Dash fall to 8th place with a 1-7-1 record and 4 points through their nine games.
The Spirit hit the road for their next game when they travel to Boston to play the Breakers on Sunday June 1st at 6:30 pm ET.