On June 3, the Houston Dash took on the Orlando Pride at home for the season’s first meeting. Both teams have seen ups and downs during the first few games of the season, and this game proved to be one of them.
The Dash had England international Rachel Daly, Mexico international Maria Sanchez and Canadian international Nichelle Prince leading the front line. All three had major contributions in the match that led to the win. Sydney Leroux led the line for the Pride, and rookie Mikayla Cluff started in the midfield after a stellar performance in their last match.
Highlights: Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride
The plethora of goals started in the 27th minute. Daly played a through ball to Prince, drawing goalkeeper Erin McLeod off her line. But after that, Prince hit a one-time shot into the net, giving the Dash a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, also Daly got a goal of her own. Sanchez played a perfectly placed ball into the box where Daly hit an arching diving header. The Dash were now up 2-0.
The final goal of the half came in the 39th minute. Marisa Viggiano played a through ball to Prince as she expertly got past the defender and shot the ball near the post. The ball deflected off an Orlando defender into the goal, but Prince still received credit. The Dash went into halftime leading, 3-0.Embed from Getty Images
Houston Dash vs. Orland Pride second half
Returning from halftime, Prince completed her hattrick with a goal in the 49th minute. The ball steered away from Shea Groom in the box, and Prince took a first-time shot—chipping the ball to the back post over McLeod.
The final goal of the night arrived in the 87th minute. Groom sent a through ball to Michelle Alozie, who slotted a powerful ball to the near post. The game ended with the Dash easily winning 5-0.
Houston Dash’s player of the match: Nichelle Prince
The Player of the Match would have to be Nichelle Prince.
Prince recorded a hattrick on the night, her first in the NWSL and the first hattrick in Dash club history. She played very smart and did not force her goals which allowed for her successful night. The Dash will be a tough team to beat if she has more performances like this one.
What’s next for Houston and Orlando?
Both teams play their next game on June 12. The Houston Dash plays the Portland Thorns, and the Orlando Pride plays the Chicago Red Stars.