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BOYDS, Md. (June 27, 2015) – The Washington Spirit (5-3-2, 17 points) won a physical match against the Houston Dash (3-3-3, 13 points) to continue their unbeaten streak at home.
The first 15 minutes of the game, saw both sides having equal opportunities but a shaky start for both. Tori Huster and Caprice Dydasco both started for the first time this season on the Spirit backline, which meant the team needed a bit of time before settling and smoothing transitioning out of the back.
The Dash attacked first in the third minute, when forward Jessica McDonald turned and passed the ball to Melissa Henderson, whose shot was stopped by Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.
Just a day after her thirty-third birthday, Johanna Lohman proved age is just a number as she made a number of great runs in the box and put continual pressure on Houston’s backline. Her efforts in the midfield led to an opportunity in the sixth minute with a volley off a free kick but was directed right to the goalkeeper.
In the last twenty minutes of the first half, the Spirit settled down and had quality possession but was still looking for the final pass and a clinical finish. The teams went into the locker room tied 0-0.
The second half, the Spirit came out attacking and controlled most of the game. In the 46th minute, Huster sent a hard shot at the Dash goal, but a defender standing on the goal line cleared the ball. The bench and several Spirit players looked to the assistant referee for a signal for a goal, but none came.
The Spirit’s attacking players including Crystal Dunn, Laura Del Rio, Angela Salem, and Lohman had constant pressure all second half, which resulted in the Spirit’s goal in the 56th minute.
Dunn applied high pressure to the Dash’s backline, taking the ball away and with her left foot shot a rocket in the top left corner, which careened off the post and into the back of the net. Dunn secured her seventh goal in 10 games and gave the Spirit a 1-0 lead.
The Dash nearly scored in the 83rd minute when Kealia Ohai took a shot at the top of the eighteen, but a great save by Wys kept the Spirit ahead 1-0.
The Spirit stayed strong and collected in the last five minutes to secure the 1-0 victory and earn three important points before traveling to play FC Kansas City on July 3 at 8:00 p.m ET.
Washington Spirit Lineup
Kelsey Wys, Caprice Dydasco, Megan Oyster, Tori Huster, Whitney Church, Joanna Lohman, Angela Salem, Christine Nairn, Amanda Da Costa (Jennifer Skogerboe, 92+’), Crystal Dunn, Laura del Rio (Tiffany Weimer, 90′)
Subs not used: Lyndse Hokanson, Katherine Reynolds
Houston Dash Lineup: Toni Pressley, Kealia Ohai, Camila Pereira (Jen LaPonte, 68′), Tiffany McCarty, Jessica McDonald, Bianca Henninger, Niki Cross, Melissa Henderson (Jordan Jackson, 72′), Ellie Brush, Ella Masar, Rachael Axon (Allie Bailey, 79)
Subs not used: Cami Privett, Jordan Day
GOALS 1 2 F
Washington Spirit 0 1 1
Houston Dash 0 0 0
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 56 Spirit Crystal Dunn
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
Time Team ## Player Card Reason
55 Dash 9 Camila Pereira Yellow Reckless Foul
78 Dash 24 Ellie Brush Yellow Reckless Foul
ABOUT THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a nine-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring players from Canada, Mexico and U.S. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash. The Houston Dash joined the league as an expansion team in 2014.Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the United States Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Federation of Mexican Football. For more information about the NWSL, log on to the league’s official website at www.NWSLsoccer.com.