The storyline was the same and so was the result. The Houston Dash had their playoff fate in their hands on Fan Appreciation night at PNC Stadium and came up empty again. The Houston Dash faced the OL Reign who has beaten them 16 times in the last 23 meetings, this time 2-0.
Houston, in front of the fourth largest crowd in franchise history, sorely missed Ebony Salmon. The young English forward was out due to COVID protocols and it showed in the offense. Without her, the Dash were unable to find the back of the net putting just three of 17 sots on target. OLR coming in on a short week had the perfect game plan, Houston pressed higher as it has been want to do and the Reign found a way to get behind them playing balls consistently over the top.
The opening salvo came in the 28th minute. USWNT star Megan Rapinoe on a counter from the wing delivered a ball into the box. A bit of bad luck struck the Dash as defender Allysha Chapman attempted clearance caromed off of an OLR player right to the foot of an onrushing Bethany Balcer who tapped it home. The Reign had just three shots on frame but two found the back of the net.
Former Dash player Veronicaa Latsko put the nail in the coffin in the 75th minute doubling the Reign's lead.
The Reign's win catapulted them onto the top of the table leaving Houston struggling for a playoff spot with a week to go and wondering what if. Houston travels to the Washington Spirit for the final regular season with five teams battling for playoff berths four, five, and six. Kick-off is set for 6p.m. CT on October 1st.