HOUSTON (August 9, 2014) – Sky Blue FC (6-8-7, 25pts) defeated the Houston Dash (5-14-3, 18 pts) 3-1 on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. SBFC forward Nadia Nadim led the way for her club with a hat trick and has now scored five goals in five games.
Sky Blue FC started out the match strong, creating several chances and having the edge in possession. Forward Maya Hayes and midfielder Sophie Schmidt both had early opportunities on goal, but their shots would miss the mark.
Houston had its first dangerous look on goal in the 16th minute. Forward Kealia Ohai got behind the Sky Blue FC backline and into the box on the left side. Her shot went past New Jersey keeper Jill Loyden across the front of the net, but went just wide right.
Sky Blue FC would get on the board first in the 39th minute. Midfielder Katy Freels played a ball to right side of the box towards a sprinting Hayes. Hayes then played a one-time ball back towards the middle to a wide-open Nadia Nadim. Nadim took one touch to pass the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the match.
The Dash had a couple opportunities to equalize before the half, including a goal by Melissa Henderson that was called back due to Henderson being offside, but the score would remain 1-0 after 45 minutes of action.
Both teams would exchange scoring chances early in the second half, forcing Loyden and Houston goalie Erin McLeod to make key saves. However, the visiting side would strike again.
After Dash midfielder Arianna Romero was given a yellow card for a late tackle, Sky Blue FC was awarded a free kick. In the 74th minute, Freels played a ball into the box that Nadim would head past McLeod for her second tally of the match.
Houston continued to apply high offensive pressure and would finally convert in the 86th minute. A Dash corner kick would bend towards Loyden, and she deflected the ball off the crossbar. A scramble in the box would eventually pop out to forward Nina Burger, who headed the ball over the goal line and prevented Houston from being shut out in the team’s home finale.
Nadim would find the net one more time before the final whistle. Loyden cleared a ball over the Houston defense right to Kelley O’Hara. O’Hara then dished the ball to Nadim, who beat McLeod for a third time as Nadim tallied her first hat trick in her NWSL career.
Houston outshot SBFC 14-11 and Loyden recorded three saves in the win. Sky Blue FC has now won three of its last four games.
SBFC returns to action on Wednesday when the squad travels to Rochester to face the Western NY Flash. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with kickoff at 7 p.m. ET. Darby Road Pub in Scotch Plains will be hosting a Sky Blue FC viewing party for the match.
Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue FC
August 9, 2014 – BBVA Compass Stadium
|Sky Blue FC||1||2||3|
SBFC – Nadim (Hayes) 39
SBFC – Nadim (Freels) 74
HOU – Burger (McCarty) 86
SBFC – Nadim (O’Hara) 92+
HOU – McLeod; Romero, Ohale, Diggs, Ochs (Souza 81); Kyle, Masar (Jackson 46), Edwards; Ohai, Burger, Henderson (McCarty 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Henninger, Toulouse, McFarlane
SBFC – Loyden; Levin, Cutshall (Goodson 61), Rampone, Foord; Schmidt, Nick, Freels; O’Hara, Nadim, Hayes (Filigno 78)
Substitutes Not Used: Cameron, Kiryu, Ocampo
SBFC – Nadim (Yellow) 23’
HOU – Edwards (Yellow) 39’
SBFC – Nick (Yellow) 62’
HOU – Romero (Yellow) 73’
Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Ramon Bermudez
Fourth Official: Christa Dorsey