TACOMA, Wash. (FOX 26) – The Houston Dash remain unbeaten on the road after Christine Nairn’s 90th minute goal gave the club a 1-1 draw with Reign FC at Cheney Stadium this afternoon.
Reign defender Morgan Proffitt cleared the second ball after Dash midfielder Haley Hanson shot from the edge of the box. The ball fell to Nairn outside the penalty area and the midfielder finished from distance to add another spectacular long-range effort to her NWSL goal tally. This was Nairn’s first goal for the club and Houston’s first point on the road in Washington against the Reign, snapping a seven-game losing streak in the Evergreen State.
"We have the fight and the talent, and we just have to put it all together at the right time," said Nairn after the game. "At times we show how great we can be, and other times we have struggled. I think in the first half we really struggled, but we controlled the things that we can. That’s our effort, and you saw that in the second half. Hard work pays off and we’ll take that point home with us."
Reign FC forward Bethany Balcer gave the Reign the lead in the first half when she found space behind the Dash backline and beat Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell with a shot to the far-right post.
Houston had the first look at goal when captain Kealia Ohai dribbled into the box and shot a ball that landed in Reign goalkeeper Casey Murphy’s hands in the eighth minute. In the second half, Ohai came close to the goal again when she cut inside the box and tested her luck with a curling effort that forced a save from Murphy. Ohai finished the game with three shots and two on target.
The Reign’s first threat came in the 12th minute, Campbell blocked a shot that was then cleared by Dash defender Amber Brooks. Balcer came close to the Dash goal two minutes later as she picked up a loose ball inside the box and shot a ball that went inches above the crossbar.
At the 29th minute, Dash forward Sofia Huerta shot a ball that forced a save from Murphy. Reign midfielder Morgan Andrews conceded a penalty attempting to clear the rebound, which made contact with her arm. Huerta attempted the penalty, her first this season, and missed with a low shot just outside the left post.
Campbell tallied one of her six saves in the 67th minute after she denied Reign midfielder Jessica Fishlock’s free kick from outside the box. Fishlock’s effort went over the wall and dipped under the crossbar, but a lunging Campbell punched the ball out of play.
Huerta continued to push offensively, attempting a shot at the 69th minute after she cut in front two Reign defenders and shot a ball to the right side of the post. Huerta’s shot was handled by Murphy.
Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis just missed from outside the box as her left-footed strike skipped over the crossbar in the 86th minute.
Dash forward Ariana Calderon and defender Ally Prisock made their NWSL debut this afternoon, and forward CeCe Kizer earned her first start today.
"It’s good to hear your coaches giving you appraisals and the girls on the team tell you that you did a good job," said Prisock. "It’s nice hearing that. It was fun. We tied the game so we can’t really be that happy, but it was nice for my teammates to say that to me."
“We said we were disappointed without first half performance," said Kizer. "I think we had such a great week of training. To come out and put the performance that we did made us disappointed in ourselves. I think we were just ready to get back out there to prove ourselves and get some fire in us. We were only down one to zero luckily. We knew that if we could get one goal, we could change the game and get the momentum back. I think for myself it was just to continue doing what I was doing. I did a good job in the first half of just getting as much pressure on the defense as I could as well as getting in the box and creating opportunities as well.”
With the equalizer, Houston extended their longest regular season game-scoring streak in club history with seven goals in six games.
The Dash will host Orlando Pride for the second time this season at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium.