Spirit honor World Cup stars at sold out game, fall 2-1 to Houston Dash

Washington Spirit  |   July 21, 2019
Spirit honor World Cup stars at sold out game, fall 2-1 to Houston Dash Featured Image

By Owen Krucoff

Boyds, Md., (7/20/19) – The Washington Spirit filled the Maryland SoccerPlex for the first time this season, with 5,500 fans packing into Maureen Hendricks Field as the team’s six World Cup players were welcomed back to the DMV on Saturday night.

Five of the six players saw the field in the 2-1 loss to the Houston Dash, including American forward Mallory Pugh, who scored twice at the World Cup as the U.S. brought home the trophy. Australian defender Elise Kellond-Knight, whom the Spirit acquired earlier this week in a trade with Reign FC, played the final 32 minutes as a substitute.

Jamaican forward Cheyna Matthews and Australian defender Amy Harrison both started the match, while Australian midfielder Chloe Logarzo entered for the final 12 minutes. American midfielder Rose Lavelle, who earned the Bronze Ball award as the World Cup’s third-best player, did not dress for the match but was on hand for a postgame ceremony celebrating the group of six.

The first half was a tight one, with neither team taking firm control of the match. The best chance came in the 23rd minute, when Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan placed a volley off the Houston crossbar. A long corner kick fell to defender Paige Nielsen on the right wing, and her cross found Sullivan in the middle of the box. The Spirit captain redirected the ball in midair, beating the keeper but just knocking the woodwork.

The game was delayed for over an hour at halftime due to weather, but it was the Spirit who came out firing after the long layoff. Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi emphatically deposited a header into the back of the net in the 52nd minute to open the scoring after defender Sam Staab got the ball into the box with one of her signature long throw-ins.

It was the fourth goal of the season for DiBiasi and the fifth combined between the rookie duo of DiBiasi and Staab, who have made names for themselves as two of the top rookies in the NWSL this season

The Dash struck back with goals in the 56th and 72nd minute to take a 2-1 lead that subsequently became the final result. Midfielder Kristie Mewis scored the equalizer, and defender Amber Brooks tilted the match in Houston’s favor 16 minutes later.

Despite the defeat, Washington remains in the NWSL playoff picture at the halfway point of the season. The Spirit sit in fourth place with 18 points, two points behind third-place Reign FC.

The Spirit will not have to wait long to try and get back in the win column, with a midweek road contest at Sky Blue FC set for Wednesday, July 24. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey.

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash

Date: July 20, 2019

Venue: Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

Attendance: 5,500

Weather: Partly cloudy, mid 80s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 1 1
Houston 0 2 2


WAS – DiBiasi 52’

HOU – Mewis 56’

HOU – Brooks 72’


WAS (4-3-3): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 14-Paige Nielsen; 3-Sam Staab; 23-Tori Huster; 7-Amy Harrison (68’ 28-Elise Kellond-Knight); 12-Andi Sullivan (c); 8-Meggie Dougherty Howard; 4-Jordan DiBiasi ; 33-Ashley Hatch (78’ 6-Chloe Logarzo); 11-Mal Pugh; 20-Cheyna Matthews (68’ 17-Cali Farquharson)

Unused Substitutes: 19-Dorian Bailey; 30-Shae Yanez; 2-Arielle Ship; 13-Bayley Feist

HOU (4-3-3):

1-Jane Campbell; 4-Allysha Chapman; 23-Ally Prisock; 22-Amber Brooks; 9-Haley Hanson; 10-Christine Nairn; 19-Kristie Mewis); 6-Sophie Schmidt; 11-Sofia Huerta (87’ 24-Jamia Fields); 7-Kealia Ohai (c) (68’ 17-Kyah Simon); 3-Rachel Daly

Unused Substitutes: 30-Bianca Henninger; 44-Satara Murray; 20-Lindsay Agnew; 28-Cami Privett; 15-Cece Kizer

Stats Summary: WAS / HOU

Shots: 12 / 9

Shots on Goal: 5 / 2

Saves: 0 / 4

Blocked Shots: 2 / 1

Fouls: 11 / 11

Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:

HOU – Sofia Huerta 70’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Ashley Hatch 77’ – Yellow Card

HOU – Christine Nairn 88’ – Yellow Card


Referee: Karen Abt

Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wasiak

Assistant Referee 2: Kaili Terry

Fourth Official: Adorae Whitesel

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