Recap: Spirit will return to Audi Field with a point after 1-1 draw in Houston

Washington Spirit  |   August 20, 2023
Recap: Spirit will return to Audi Field with a point after 1-1 draw in Houston Featured Image

Houston, Texas (08/19/2023) – The Spirit leaves Houston with only one point following a late goal from the Dash. Ashley Sanchez scored the lone Spirit goal – marking a goal in four straight appearances– off an assist from Ouleymata Sarr who made her first-ever appearance with the Spirit. 


Starting in today’s match, forward Ashley Hatch and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury made their 100th appearances with the Washington Spirit. They join teammate and original Spirit member Tori Huster as the only Spirit players to ever accomplish this feat. Each of Kingsbury’s 100 appearances came as starts. 


As for Houston’s Starting XI, the Dash made five changes from the side’s last regular season match, the most from one match to the next this season for the team. 


Aside from Hatch testing Dash keeper Jane Campbell, who was well off her line, and Paige Metayer connecting on a header that was saved by Campbell, not much action occurred in the first 25 minutes of play. 


Kingsbury, however, reached a number of milestones within that timeframe. With a save on a shot from Sophie Schmidt in the 9th minute, Kingsbury recorded her 400th career regular season save. She is the sixth keeper in NWSL history to accomplish this feat. Additionally, she hit 10,000 career regular season minutes played, also becoming the sixth keeper to hit this milestone. 


The first half of play ended in a scoreless stalemate, true to form in the Dash–Spirit series. In the 11 meetings between the two in Houston, there have been zero games with more than one first half goal. It also marked the fifth straight 0-0 halftime score for the Dash this regular season. 


The Dash has stopped the opposition from scoring a first-half goal in 11 of its 16 games with no team doing this more in the NWSL this season. Houston has also failed to score a first-half goal in 11 of its 16 games. Only Gotham FC (12) has failed to score in the opening 45 more often in the NWSL this season. 


In the 56th minute, newly-signed forward Ouleymata Sarr made her Spirit and NWSL debut, subbing in for Lena Silano. The French national player signed with the Spirit in June of this season to a three-year contract. 


Sarr came up huge in a matter of minutes, feeding Ashley Sanchez with a beautiful back heel through ball, enabling Sanchez to sneak the ball past Jane Campbell on the near post.



Sanchez was subbed onto the pitch only 40 seconds before scoring, and the goal marks her 12th career regular season goal. She is now tied with Francisca Ordega for sixth-most regular season goals in team history. This is Sanchez’s fourth consecutive appearance with a goal – the longest such streak in her career. She had previously never scored in back-to-back games. 


Furthermore, Sarr joins Riley Tanner (2023), Taylor Aylmer (2021) and Stephanie Ochs (2013 – in the first ever Spirit game) as the only Spirit players to ever log an assist in their debut with the team (all competitions). 


After subbing in for Amber Brooks in the 71st minute, Tori Huster later eclipsed 13,000 career regular season minutes, becoming the 16th player to ever achieve this feat. This marked Huster’s first regular season appearance since October 31, 2021 – also against the Dash. 


Just when the Spirit looked like it was on the precipice of victory, Maria Sánchez tied things up off a cross from Ebony Salmon. Sánchez has now scored or assisted (8) on more than half of the Dash’s 15 goals (all competitions) this season. 


Rather than leaving Houston with a crucial three points, the Spirit has a lone point to show for their performance. Though, the Spirit remains unbeaten – 5-0-4 – this season when scoring first. Finally, the all-time goal differential (all competitions) between the two sides remains tied (28-28).  


Next on the schedule, the Spirit will face off against Portland Thorns FC in a highly anticipated return to Audi Field. The match will take place on Sunday, August 27 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Find tickets here 


-NWSL Match Report- 

Match: Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit 

Date: August 19, 2023 

Venue: Shell Energy Stadium  

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. EDT  

Weather: Sunny, high-90s 


Scoring Summary: 

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

WAS – Ashley Sanchez – 63’ 

HOU – Maria Sánchez – 90’+1’ 



HOU: 1- Jane Campbell; 3- Caprice Dydasco; 25- Katie Lind; 4- Natalie Jacobs; 22- Michelle Alozie (5- Courtney Petersen, 64’); 17- Sarah Puntigam (14- Marisa Viggiano, 64’); 29- Joelle Anderson (11- Diana Ordóñez, 82’); 13- Sophie Schmidt (37- Jyllisa Harris, 83’); 7- Maria Sánchez; 9- Ebony Salmon; 39- Cameron Tucker (8- Nichelle Prince, 58’) 

Unused Substitutes: 99- Emily Alvarado; 31- Madelyn Desiano; 21- Ryan Gareis; 23- Ally Prisock 


WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 14- Gabrielle Carle (16- Maddie Elwell, 56’); 3- Sam Staab; 9- Tara McKeown (5- Annaïg Butel, 62’); 19- Dorian Bailey; 39- Chloe Ricketts (10- Ashley Sanchez, 62’); 26- Paige Metayer; 22- Amber Brooks (23- Tori Huster, 71’); 33- Ashley Hatch; 30- Camryn Biegalski; 24- Lena Silano (8- Ouleymata Sarr, 56’) 

Unused Substitutes: 28- Nicole Barnhart; 18- Lyza Bosselmann; 13- Bayley Feist; 25- Marissa Sheva 


Stats Summary: HOU / WAS 

Shots: 21 / 8 

Shots On Goal: 8 / 3 

Shots Blocked: 7 / 2 

Saves: 2 / 8 

Tackles Won: 15 / 17 

Fouls: 6 / 7 

Offsides: 2 / 1 


Misconduct Summary: 

HOU – Michelle Alozie – 21’ 

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