Washington, D.C. (04/22/2023) – The fourth regular season match of the season began without much affair, with both teams jockeying possession for much of the first ten minutes.
Defender Dorian Bailey was downed in the 13’ and was later replaced by Amber Brooks in the 16’. From there, all offensive chances for the Spirit came from the foot of Trinity Rodman whose offense set up two corners within the first 20 minutes to no avail. She would then set up Ashley Sanchez in the 24’ for the team’s second shot on goal and first true scoring opportunity.
Much of Houston’s production came from its frontline of María Sánchez, Ebony Salmon and Diana Ordoñez. In the 37’, Salmon set up Ordoñez with a direct shot on goal that was easily managed by keeper Aubrey Kingsbury.
The half would end without any goals, but a yellow card was given to Brooks in the 39’. Both sides logged similar offensive stats with the Spirit registering four shots and two shots on goal compared to the Dash’s five shots and three shots on goal. Disciplinary action would be the most lopsided statistic, as the Spirit was issued nine fouls to the Dash’s three.
Within the first ten minutes of the second half, the Spirit controlled the pace of the game. Sanchez tallied a shot on goal only seconds into start of the half, while Ashley Hatch sent in a bomb from well outside the box saved by Jane Campbell’s outstretched hands. In that time, the Spirit recorded three shots, two of which were on target, and three touches within the opponents box, while the Dash did not record a shot.
Sanchez would continue to put her fingerprints on the second half, placing a header delivered from Hatch directly into the post in the 57’. Seconds later, she shot a deep ball that sailed just over the top of the goal.
The Dash would have its own encounter with the woodwork in the 70’ when a Dash corner led to a Sophie Schmidt header that was redirected off of Kingsbury’s glove into the post where it would then bounce back into the field of play.
15-year-old midfielder Chloe Ricketts, who replaced Inès Jaurena, made an impact only minutes after entering the match, delivering a cross to Rodman who would head the ball just wide of goal. Despite a wave of subs in stoppage time, neither team was able to get the ball into the back of the net, resulting in a draw.
Both the Spirit and the Dash remain unbeaten on the season; however, the Spirit has failed to beat the Dash since 2021. At the conclusion of the match, the Dash has allowed the fewest goals in the NWSL (minimum four matches played) with two goals allowed across four matches.
Additionally, with a start today, Sam Staab tied the league record 72 consecutive regular season starts – a record now held by both Staab and Spirit teammate Amber Brooks who accomplished the feat while playing for the Houston Dash (2017-19).
Next up, the Spirit travel to Bridgeview, Illinois to face off against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 29th at 8 p.m. EDT.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash
Date: April 22, 2023
Venue: Audi Field
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Rainy, low-60s
WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 14- Gabrielle Carle; 3- Sam Staab; 9- Tara McKeown; 19- Dorian Bailey (22- Amber Brooks 16’); 12- Andi Sullivan; 26- Paige Metayer; 7- Inès Jaurena (39- Chloe Ricketts72’); 10- Ashley Sanchez (17- Nicole Douglas 90+2’) 7- Trinity Rodman; 33- Ashley Hatch (20- Civana Kuhlmann 90+2’)
Unused Substitutes: 11- Jordan Baggett; 28- Nicole Barnhart; 16- Maddie Elwell; 24- Lena Silano; 25- Marissa Sheva
HOU: 1- Jane Campbell; 2- Allysha Chapman; 3- Caprice Dydasco; 4- Natalie Jacobs; 23- Ally Prisock; 7- María Sánchez (22- Michelle Alozie 79’); 13- Sophie Schmidt; 14- Marisa Viggiano; 5- Courtney Petersen (6- Havana Solaun 45’); 9- Ebony Salmon (39- Cameron Tucker 90+5’); 11- Diana Ordoñez
Unused Substitutes: 30 Sophie Hirst; 36- Lindsi Jennings; 25- Katie Lund; 35- Savannah Madden
Stats Summary: WAS / HOU
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots On Goal: 4 / 5
Blocked Shots: 1 / 2
Saves: 5 / 4
Tackles Won: 7 / 13
Fouls: 14 / 9
Offsides: 0 / 1
WAS – Amber Brooks – 39’ – Yellow Card
WAS – Sam Staab – 64’ – Yellow Card