Rachel Daly (right) scored in the 22nd minute. (Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports)
HOUSTON – What was a two-game winning streak for Sky Blue FC has become a two-game losing streak for the National Women’s Soccer League side.
Former St. John’s University standout Rachel Daly scored the lone goal of the match to pace the Houston Dash to a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC at BBVA Compass Stadium Sunday night.
Sky Blue FC fell to 2-10-2.
Daly had a close encounter on net in the third minute. Dash midfielder Jamia Fields started the sequence by sending a low pass across the box to forward Kealia Ohai on the left side. Ohai was marked by Gina Lewandowski and dropped the ball back to the open Daly near the penalty spot. The English international hit the ball first time and sent the ball off the far-right post.
The one-time Red Storm star continued to pressure Sky Blue’s backline as she made goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan come up with a big save. A giveaway in the midfield put the ball at the feet of midfielder Kristie Mewis, who passed the ball up to Daly in open space. Daly attempted to curl the shot into the far-right post but the diving Sheridan pushed it away for the save. With the ball not cleared out of danger, the oncoming forward Sofia Huerta placed the follow-up shot just over the crossbar.
Sky Blue’s first chance on goal came from the feet of Carli Lloyd in the 19th minute. Paige Monaghan slipped the ball past the defense, finding the feet of Lloyd on the right side of the box. Beating the defender with her first touch, Lloyd sent her shot high over the crossbar.
Daly found the net in the 22nd minute.
Houston rookie defender Aly Prisock, from the midfielder, sent a pass to Daly at the top of the box. Unmarked and heading towards goal, Daly fired a shot at the far-left corner of the net to put Houston up, 1-0.
The last chance on goal in the first half for Sky Blue came in the 25th minute from a Lloyd shot. Running down the left flank of the field, Monaghan dropped the ball back towards Lloyd at the top of the box. Lloyd drilled shot just wide of the far-right post.
In the 56th minute, Sky Blue’s first chance in the second half came from a low driven shot by Monaghan, just inches away from the lower left corner of the goal.
The Dash came close to adding another goal with a combination play in the 58th minute by Mewis and midfielder Christine Nairn, which set up the latter inside the box for a low shot that curled wide of the left post.
Mewis almost scored in the 78th minute. A free kick sent in from the left side of the field by Nairn picked out Mewis making a run at the back post. Mewis headed it down but knocked it off the left post as the ball bounced out for a goal kick.
The last drive at goal in the game came from the Dash as Daly sent in a pass to Huerta, who was open on the right side of the field. Cutting towards goal with no defenders around her, Huerta sent her shot into the side netting.
Sky Blue FC will be on the road for its next two games as the team faces the Portland Thorns Saturday, Aug. 3 at 11 p.m., before travel to play Utah Royals at Rio Tinto Stadium Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10 p.m. Sky Blue will return home to Yurcak Field to host the Chicago Red Stars for the club’s Back to School Night on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.