Preview: Spirit seeks a victory against Dash in team’s first match on Prime

Washington Spirit  |   April 11, 2024
Preview: Spirit seeks a victory against Dash in team’s first match on Prime Featured Image

Houston, Texas (04/11/2024) – The Washington Spirit will face the Houston Dash in both sides’ fourth match of the 2024 NWSL regular season. The match kicks off at 8:00 p.m. EDT at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston, Texas and will stream on Prime.


The Spirit

Most recently, the Washington Spirit defeated Utah Royals FC on Women’s Empowerment Day at Audi Field. The 2-1 victory saw two first-half goals from Andi Sullivan and Ouleye Sarr, marking the 20th consecutive game in which the Spirit has not lost when leading at halftime dating back to October 2017. Sullivan’s penalty kick goal was the Spirit’s first non-Ashley Hatch PK goal since October 1, 2022, while Sarr’s goal marked her first NWSL career score off a header.



The biggest milestone of the match, however, did not come from a goal but an assist. Trinity Rodman’s assist setting up Sarr’s header made Rodman the Spirit’s all-time regular season assist leader with 12. She broke a tie with Spirit legends Crystal Dunn and Diana Matheson. Rodman has also recorded 17 assists in all NWSL competitions since her NWSL debut in 2021, more than any other player in the league in that time, ahead of Carson Pickett (15) and Houston’s María Sánchez (14).


Friday’s matchup marks the first meeting between Houston and Washington since August of 2023, when the teams finished in a 1-1 draw. Both matches of 2023 resulted in ties. The all-time series history is also tightly contested with the Spirit owning an all-time record of 9-8-7 versus the Houston Dash. The 24 total regular season matches against the Dash is the fifth-most matchups against a single club in Spirit history.


As the series record indicates, these matches have been extremely competitive with the all-time goal differential swinging in favor of Houston by one goal (27 Spirit goals, 28 Dash goals). On the road, the Spirit fares worse, owning a 2-4-5 record. However, the Spirit is 3-4-5 at Shell Energy Stadium, winning a “home” matchup that was played at the Dash’s home venue due to scheduling conflicts.


The Spirit is looking for its first three-match winning streak in a single regular season since winning its last four matches of 2021 leading into the NWSL Championship triumph. However, Washington has managed just three regular season road wins since the start of the 2022 season (D12, L8).


The Spirit returns home in a blackout of Audi Field next Saturday, April 20, facing off against the reigning NWSL champion Gotham FC. Fans can get tickets here.


The Opposition

The Houston Dash earned its first victory of the 2024 season following a 3-2 triumph over Bay FC at PayPal Park on March 30. The Dash upset Bay FC’s inaugural home match, sealing the victory with a Havana Solaun goal in the 10th minute of second half stoppage time.


Diana Ordóñez scored two goals in the match, marking her fourth career multi-goal game. Only Sophia Smith (7) and Alex Morgan (5) have more regular season games with two or more goals than Ordóñez since making her NWSL debut in 2022.


Houston overcame a season-opening 1-5 bludgeoning by North Carolina to collect four points over its last two matches (W1, D1). A victory over Washington would equal the Dash’s best four-match start to a season in club history after totaling seven points through four games in 2016, 2019 and 2022.


Houston is unbeaten in seven straight home matches against Washington (W3, D4), though the last four have all ended in draws with the Spirit’s last win in Houston coming in 2016. This equals the Dash’s longest home unbeaten run in all competitions against a single opponent (7 straight vs. Orlando from 2018-23). The club’s seven-game streak does not include the Spirit’s “home” match at Shell Energy Stadium in 2021.


Kealia Watt, who was drafted by the Houston Dash with the second overall pick in 2014, will make her broadcast debut on Prime. Playing in Houston through 2019, Watt scored five goals against the Spirit, the most by any Dash player.


On paper, this matchup seems to be tightly contested. The Spirit and Dash rank within one position or less in the following categories: goals, shots, shots on target and possession.


Next up, the Dash travels to Portland for a battle with the Thorns on Saturday, April 20 at 10 p.m. EDT.



• Last match, goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury earned her 109th regular season appearance, moving out of a tie with Ashley Hatch for second-most in club history. The Spirit’s 12 saves, all by Kingsbury, rank fourth in the NWSL.

• On March 31, the Spirit led by multiple goals at the half in the regular season for the first time since April 1, 2023.

• With an appearance in Friday’s match, Andi Sullivan will reach her 100th career appearance, all with the Spirit. She joins teammates Ashley Hatch and Aubrey Kingsbury, as well as Spirit legend Tori Huster as the only players to reach 100 appearances with the Spirit.

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