Houston Dash win; secure home playoff berth
The Houston Dash didn't play the prettiest game Saturday night in the nation's capital but they did enough to win. The Dash defeated the Washington Spirit 2-1 coupling with the Kansas City loss earned themselves a home playoff match.
The best road team in the NWSL in 2022 with seven wins also posted a franchise best 10 win season altogether. It marked the first double digit winning season for the club since its inception in 2014. Unbeaten in eight of their last 10 outings, Houston deserved the result.
"It is a reward for all the effort we put in, the staff, myself and also the players," shared Dash head coach Juan Carlos Amoros. "My responsibility is big because I'm the head coach and I'm the one in charge of making the final decisions. I prepare the team to win but and when it happens then you have a feeling of fulfillment and when I hear them now, we're in a different changing room, obviously but I hear them singing out here. I hear them happy; we know that we've made a lot of people happy back in Houston, back in the club. It's our job and now I really do believe that this is only the beginning."
Houston gain the early advantage on Marissa Viggiano's second goal of the season. Viggiano made a run down the right side receiving a perfectly placed ball from Ryan Gareis before slotting curling left-footed shot into the back of the net.
A penalty conversion for Washington leveled the match in the 36th minute.
Houston would get the game winner off a Nichelle Prince header that banged off the post and deflected off a Spirit defender across the goal line. The 59th minute tally came following Houston weathering a storm in the defensive third. It was a moment that continues to define the resiliency of the Dash in 2022.
Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell had some words for Houston Dash fans that have stuck with the team.
“It's the first one ever, it's the first time that the Dash have clinched a playoff spot. We've had quite a history and quite the reputation of not being great,: said Campbell ". We've really tried to turn it around year after year. People have jumped ship, and that's great and don't let the door hit you on the way out kind of attitude that we've had -- the people who have stayed. I selfishly knew that we can do it, we just need the pieces to fit."