Gotham FC midfielder Ali Krieger (11) runs down the field defended by Houston Dash forward Nichelle Prince (8). (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

NJ/NY Gotham FC returned from the international break with a quick score but could not hold onto the lead and conceded four goals at home at Red Bull Arena en route to a 4-2 loss to the Houston Dash in Harrison, N.J. on Sunday night.

The defeat left Gotham FC (4-7-1, 13 points) in ninth place out of 12 teams while the third-place Dash improved to 6-4-3 and 21 points.

Gotham head coach Scott Parkinson didn’t seem concerned that his team lost by that score in the National Women’s Soccer League match.

“The way we’re playing is okay. We’re doing okay. We’re doing all right,” he said. “And then one thing can just derail us and really just knock us off our vibe and on off what we’re trying to do.”

Gotham FC struck first off a goal from Paige Monaghan, off an assist from Taylor Smith, for a one-timer shot and a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute for her second goal of the season. Monaghan had a chance at another goal of a Kristie Mewis pass on a set piece but couldn’t connect.

Midge Purce hit the post on the 15th minute off a Monaghan pass before Houston equalized 1-1 in the 18th minute on an own goal.

Four minutes later, Monaghan floated a shot right over the crossbar off a ricochet.

In the 36th minute, a goal by Shea Groom lifted the visitors into a 2-1 lead.

Smith tried for a goal in the 53rd minute before being stifled near the net.

Sophie Schmidt tallied in the 70th minute to extend the lead to 3-1, before a penalty kick by Emily Salmon increased the lead to 4-1.

Midge Purce turned a final individual effort on a fast break to finish for her third goal for the final score 82nd minute.

“Houston’s very physical,” Purce said. “I felt the defender all over my back and I dummied it went down, ran …cut to my left and chipped it, which I had been working on with Hensley [Hancuff], one of our goalkeepers all week actually from that exact angle. So I definitely went up to her and gave her a great thank you how because she had helped me with it after practice all week.”

Gotham FC will return to take on the Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium on Aug. 6.