The Houston Dash were disappointed but not down and out following their 16th loss in 23 tries against the OLR on a night when it really mattered. Now they must beat the team on the road that knocked them from the playoffs a season ago. Here are their thoughts.
The defending NWSL champion Washington Spirit play the role of spoiler in 2022. Last season, Trinity Rodman and the Spirit defeated Houston 1-0 at Audi Field to deny the Dash their first ever playoff berth. Fast forward to 2022 and the same scenario possible is arising depending on how everything else plays out on the final weekend of the season.
"Yeah, I mean, we know how last year unfolded, and this year we're looking to write a different narrative," said Dash midfielder Sophie Schmidt. "We definitely are not the team that we were last year going over there. I think we were down in spirit. And I think that we definitely have the belief in this group going there next weekend to get the win, or whatever needs to be done. So yeah, it's kind of a weird situation that it comes down to the exact same situation. But you know, we're a different squad and the situation is different, even though it's the same."
Dash head coach Juan Carlos Amoros although disappointed with the result was pleased with his team's performance and explained how his side is not down and out.
"That's something non negotiable," Amoros said beginning to explain the loss and the future. "I think that the players did everything they could, it was just not meant to be today. We missed a little bit of quality at the end, they've been outstanding with that you know, they've been overcoming a lot of challenges and going through everything. The girls are working extremely hard, I'm so proud of them and what they are achieving this season despite all the problems. A lot of changes that have gone into the club like the fact that today, we would actually play into the top of the league you know, it is credit to them and you know this is the regular season obviously. If we will be in the playoffs we will be, but we just need to learn from it and make sure that we take that experience and and get ready because there is more to come."
Houston defender Katie Naughton summed up Houston's thoughts on its now or never moment with the Spirit. "It is redemption at this point. We know what happend last year. We don't need to revisit it and I think it's a new story. It's a new book."
Here's to a fairy tale ending in DC next weekend.