The Houston Dash have always been looked at as a team with lots of talented players that could never really figure out how to play together. That is until this season. Every year the goal has been to build a team within a team for when key players were out but it never worked until now. Why? What makes this team different?
Houston Dash interim head coach Sarah Lowdon shared the secret of what has made this team so different and so dangerous to begin the 2022 season. It's been word word; resilient.
“Just the resiliency, that's something we talked about. We have a group here that, you know, they understand that things are going to hit the fan. The nicest way to put it and they understand that there is some suffering in this game, and you have to weather the storms and the the grit and the buy-in and they fight together. That's part of it, it's just being blue collar, being resilient."
When one player is out with injury or international duty, it's the old adage "next man up." For the Houston Dash, they don't care who gets the credit, who gets the goals or who gets the accolades and all of it stems from the approach of their coach Sarah Lowdon. Sunday night's star midfielder Elizabeth Eddy may have put it best.
“I would say it's just a huge testament to like how Sarah (Lowdon) as well as the rest staff has chosen to approach it one day at a time, to fix the problems as they come. You can't think or live in the future, you can't live in the past, you got to live in the moment and they have done that really well. At the end of the day, you can choose to be positive when there's a lot to be negative about. It usually ends up going in your favor and say that's what's happened. Honestly that's like a lesson in life not about just work.”
Houston is playing like a family. In years past, they talked about playing like a family but were unable to walk the walk. Now they know for example if forward Rachel Daly is off to England someone else is going to step in and step up. There is no worry, no doubt and no fretting over how the team will react to the missing player.
"That's another fun thing about the team that we have people who can shine and who can score goals and do big things for this team," began forward Nichelle Prince when asked about the key to this team's consistency and success. "We're not just relying on one or two players, everyone has to come out. There's going to be days when there's one or two players that aren't, you know, having the best game. It's how the rest of us lift each other up, and we use every one of us."
As you look from one quote to the next and one player to the next, you quickly realize this enjoys each other, depends on each other there is never a moment to big for them. On Sunday, they trailed early again and responded with the equalizer before the half. Next they took the words of their coach and came out and executed at an even higher level scoring three goals in the opening six minutes. This has been synonymous of the Dash week in and week out. It's why no opponent has been able to figure out how put this team away.
“We're just focusing on ourselves right now and focusing on how we can individually be the best for our team and best for one another," explained Prince. "I think we're fighting for one another. That's something that maybe we haven't always had in the past. You can see it on the field that even when people are tired, even when maybe things are tough on the field, we're fighting for one another. It helps every one of us to stay consistent half to half and yeah, I think we obviously got scored on early, but we knew we were still in the game, we definitely fought for 90 minutes plus. We find that leadership on the field and, you know, talk and just get through those moments when it was difficult.”