The Houston Dash dropped Friday night's 2-1 decision to the Kansas City Current in a disappointing performance. The Dash missed another opportunity once again to climb the NWSL ladder. The loss proved once again that any team can beat any team on any given night. Here are three things we learned from that loss.
First, the Houston Dash are not quite where everyone hoped they might be. It was a loss that came about because of missed opportunities. It was game where Houston was never really out of it. They just missed on moments where they normally produce. The downside is that they did it against a team near the bottom of the table.
“I think we created opportunities to win the game –numerous opportunities," said Dash interim head coach Sarah Lowdon. "I think it’s just about putting those chances away in the end. I think we had four or five really good opportunities in the first half, two obviously with (FW) Ebony (Salmon) getting the back line for them turned around and we just couldn’t find that finish."
Secondly, even with new players on the pitch, the team executed the game plan just not to the level it had in previous matches. Despite giving up the late first half goal (43rd minute) and a goal in the opening minutes of the second, they were never really out of it. In addition to Salmon, rookie Joelle Anderson made first NWSL start. Forward Cali Farquharson and defenders Julie Ashley and Ryan Gareis found time on the pitch. Anderson described the team's attitude throughout.
"I think just responding well when we are getting scored on, especially in the first minute of the game. You have to come together and be like okay we got this and we still have a whole half to play. [Ryan] did a good job coming on and getting those crosses in. When that happens, we just need to come together and refocus and reset while we try our best."
Third, Ebony Salmon proved that she can be as dangerous as Nichelle Prince and others on the Dash. She stretched the defense and had opportunities and as with any goal scorer the finishes will come. One of Salmon's best chances came in the 27th when a right-footed blast from the eighteen forced Current keeper Adriana Franch into a save.
"For me it is always good that I am getting the most goal scoring opportunities," said Salmon following the match. "But I have to make sure that I am taking chances and clinically in front of the goal."
Houston travels to Orlando next week for a Saturday night match on July 8th. Kick-off is slated for 6:00pm CT.