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Houston Dash snap home winless streak with 2-1 victory over Utah Royals

Houston, Texas – The Houston Dash snapped their winless streak at home Friday with a 2-1 win against the Utah Royals at BBVA Stadium.

The Dash were looking for a win after two consecutive losses and took three points at home for the first time since July.

“Mostly I think we are proud of our performance. The win is a bonus, but we wanted to go out there, put in a great effort for our home fans, and we did just that. A win is a result of that performance,” Dash midfielder Sophie Schmidt said.

In the 27th minute, Houston scored the first goal of the game thanks to Sofia Huerta. The combination play was created by Rachel Daly and Kristie Mewie before a flick back to Huerta, who found the left corner open for a 1-0 lead.

 “Feels really good, especially at home, and you know this season we have had some struggle winning at home. So, it feels good to get wins at the end of the season, especially versus a class team, and yea I am just excited I had two really good assists, one from Kristie, one from Rachel. I obviously wouldn’t have scored if it wasn’t for those passes,” Huerta said.

Both teams had seven shots and two shots on goal, but the Dash took advantage of their ball possession and went into halftime with the lead.

The second 45 minutes were not too different. The Royals had a slight advantage in ball possession over the Dash but did not take advantage of it.

In the 62nd minute, Huerta ran up the right side of the field, beat the Utah defense and had time to attack. She took a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down toward the net. There were a few seconds of speculation over whether the ball had crossed the goal line, but the referee awarded the goal and Houston celebrated a 2-0 lead.

Thirteen minutes later, the Royals found the back of the net with a goal from Utah midfielder Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, who blasted the ball into the goal.

Jonsdottir got a pass from Erica Tymarak, who got the ball from a bad clearance that ended in a deflection landing by her feet.

Five minutes before the end of regular time, Utah forward Christen Press tried to even out the score but was stopped by Dash goalie Jane Campbell. Although these points probably will not get the local team to the playoffs, it offers hope about the future.

“I am really happy. I’m happy for the players. You know, we’ve come in for a bit of criticism recently for the way we’ve played, and I think you’ve seen what the Dash is all about,” coach James Clarkson said. “And that makes it frustrating, because we haven’t played consistently like that all season. If we had, we would’ve been in a much stronger position.”

Up next, the Dash hit the road to face the North Carolina Courage on Tuesday.

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