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Houston Dash struggle to capitalize during 1-0 home loss to Reign FC

Houston Dash player Rachel Daly kicks the ball during a game against Reign FC. (Photo courtesy Houston Dash)

HOUSTON – Being able to capitalize on scoring opportunities remains an issue for the Houston Dash, which fell 1-0 to Reign FC on Friday at BBVA Stadium.

“Yeah, I’m really disappointed. We take one step forward and two steps back,” Dash head coach James Clarkson said.  “The game was winnable, and we got ourselves in some good spots – about 20 shots on goal and maybe four on target.”

Both teams took a while to get into the game, but the pace changed in the 20th minute when Reign midfielder Rosie White broke through the defense. She took possession of the ball after a small deflection from a Dash player in the penalty box. White then kicked the ball past Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell to give the visitors a 1-0 lead that held despite Reign FC traveling with numerous injured players and others away for the United States women’s national team’s World Cup victory tour.

“No, it should have been an advantage for us. Unfortunately, it was a giveaway, another soft goal we’ve given away. And it gives them an opportunity to get numbers behind the goal, it gives them the opportunity to defend, and unfortunately we’ve let ourselves down,” Clarkson said.

Houston turned on the pressure and generated dangerous plays looking for the equalizer.

In the 44th minute, Dash forward Kealia Ohai scrambled to score the home team’s first goal, but the offside flag cut the goal celebration short. Although the goal didn’t count, it did give Houston a boost of energy and the Dash began pressuring at the front more.

“I mean, it was close. I thought I was onside, but I am a little biased,” Ohai said. “But it was really close, so it must have been just there. But it was a great ball by Kyah [Simon], and you just have to get a little lucky sometimes, so yeah it was frustrating.”

During the second 45 minutes, the Dash kept looking for that opportunity to tie the score.

Simon was replaced by experienced midfielder Sophie Schmidt to help the Dash gain control of the midfield.  Houston played hard and had control of the game on several occasions, but no goals game out of it. Reign goalie Casey Murphy blocked at least five Dash shots.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously we wanted the three points. I don’t feel like we’re out of it by any means,” Dash defender Haley Hanson said.”I think we played a good game, I just think we conceded too early and they were able to just drop back and keep us off the board. So, we definitely aren’t happy with it, but we are not defeated by any means.”

Reign FC is now fourth in the league and will head back home to Cheney Stadium to face the No. 1 Portland Thorns FC on Wednesday. The Dash are in sixth place and must get ready to the hit the road and face the No. 8 Orlando Pride next Saturday at Exploria Stadium.

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