Houston Dash win friendly, gain momentum

ROCHESTER, NY - JULY 25: Melissa Henderson
ROCHESTER, NY - JULY 25: Melissa Henderson /

With a 3-0 win in a friendly against FC Dallas, the Houston Dash might have just gained the momentum they needed going forward into the rest of the season.

This week while National Women’s Soccer League play took a break for FIFA play, the Houston Dash traveled to Dallas, Texas where they faced FC Dallas in a friendly where the Dash was successful in a 3-0 victory. This was the first match that the club was able to play since postponing their match against the Washington Spirit on May 27 due to rain and lightning in the area of BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Dash fans got a real treat as they were able to see Melissa Henderson’s return to the pitch after suffering a sprained MCL in her right knee on March 19th during a friendly against Baylor University. The Garland, Texas native participated in the match and also scored the first goal of the game in only the 14th minute after Kealia Ohai’s final touch went past Dallas goalkeeper Kelsey Davonshire. Davonshire lunged for the ball, but Henderson was able to dash into the box and knock the ball into the goal.

The second goal of the match came from Ohai in the second half after she dribbled towards the penalty box, beat Davonshire to the post, and shot the ball into the back of the net in the 54th minute.

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A little under twenty minutes later, Stephanie Ochs added the final goal of the match with a shot from outside of the 18-yard box that went right passed Davonshire in the 71st minute.

After the match, in an interview with the Houston Dash’s YouTube platform, Melissa Henderson touched on the fact that it was “amazing” to be back on the field with the support of her teammates after her rehab. “I’m just thankful, again, to just be on the field and to be playing and be in the competitive atmosphere again. So, it’s really nice to be out there.” Henderson said. Henderson added that communication had grown through this matchup with the midfielders and the rest of the team.

With the break from play due to weather and then a FIFA break, Ohai mentioned in a post game interview with the Houston Dash just how imperative it was to get playing again. “It was good,” Ohai said, “we’ve been on a break so getting everyone back in was really important to get us playing again and to get us ready for Seattle, which is coming up. And the National Team players are gone, so that’s a challenge always- when they leave for the Olympics. So we’re starting to get prepared for that and it was really good.”

With the international players out and expected to be out for the Olympics, head coach Randy Waldrum made six huge substitutions in the second half to give the rest of the roster playing time. Fans got to see Bianca Brinson, Haley Carter, Tessa Gavilsky, Jen LaPonte, Chestley Strother, and Caroline Van Slambrouck take important roles on the pitch.

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The win is arguably positive momentum going forward into the rest of the season where the Dash hope to make a playoff run. With the confidence that the full roster can make due without the national team members, the team should come out ready to take on the rest of the regular season schedule. The Houston Dash are expected to return to NWSL play next weekend as they travel to play Seattle Reign FC.