NWSL Game of the Week: North Carolina Courage vs. Houston Dash

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 07: Maria Sanchez #7 of the Houston Dash stretches for a pass during the game against Angel City FC at Banc of California Stadium on June 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

For the second time this season, the North Carolina Courage and the Houston Dash took the field in North Carolina for an exciting game to come.

The Courage had a front line led by rookie Diana Ordonez and Brazilian Kerolin. The Dash were without Rachel Daly as she was on international duty with England. Mexican international Maria Sanchez and Canadian Nichelle Prine led the attack for the Dash.

Highlights: North Carolina Courage vs. Houston Dash

The seven-goal game started with a phenomenal strike from Denise O’Sullivan in the 6th minute. After a defensive clearance, O’Sullivan took the ball down with her chest and sent a rocket of a volley to the top right corner of the goal.

Nine minutes later, the Dash equalized with a left-footed strike from Sanchez. Going into halftime, the sides were equal but that all changed in the 47th minute with a solid strike from Elizabeth Eddy. A poor defensive clearance from the Courage allowed for a wide-open Eddy to knock the ball home.

Within four minutes, the Dash scored two more goals. In the 50th minute, Sanchez played a perfect through ball to Eddy, who struck the ball perfectly to chip goalkeeper, Casey Murphy. Less than a minute later, Sanchez once again plays a great ball to Prince who shoots a perfect curler around the hands of Murphy. The Dash were up 4-1.

The Courage then came back with their own scoring streak. In the 57th minute, Carson Pickett crossed the ball to Ordonez’s feet where she turned expertly around the defender and slotted the ball past Jane Campbell. Two minutes later, Debinha picked up the third goal after a poor defensive clearance from the Dash.

The game ended 4-3 with three points going to the away side.

Player of the match: Maria Sanchez

The Player of the Match would have to be Maria Sanchez.

With a goal and two assists from the Mexican international, it’s a no-brainer to choose her. Sanchez has been a big part of the club’s success this season. Her chemistry with Daly allows for great success within the team. Even without the presence of Daly, Sanchez’s football IQ gives her the opportunity to provide perfect passes and goals for the club.

What’s next for the Courage and the Dash?

After the international break, both teams take the pitch on July 1. The Dash plays the Kansas City Current and the Courage plays the OL Reign.

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