Dunn Hat Trick Lifts Spirit to 3-1 Win Over the Dash
The Washington Spirit (8-4-3, 27 points) faced off against the Houston Dash (5-6-5, 20 points) and made franchise history when Crystal Dunn converted the team’s first hat trick. The lone goal for the Dash came from Jessica McDonald.
In the 2nd minute, Diana Matheson laid the ball off for Christine Nairn, taking a couple touches and shooting the ball outside the eighteen. Nairn had numerous long-range chances throughout the night as the Spirit midfield played a physical and demanding game.
The Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai, attacking up the flank, cut into the midfield and with a hard shot on goal. Ashlyn Harris made a leaping one handed save to keep the score line at 0-0.
After the first fifteen minutes, the Spirit applied high pressure with Dunn as the target. In the 28th minute, Dunn dribbled through two Dash defenders, out bodying them into the inside and slotted the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the night. On the exchange, Dash’s starting goalkeeper Erin McCleod, was subbed due to an injury.
Seven minutes later, Dunn would receive a ball from Matheson, and with the outside of her foot, scored her 11th goal of the season in the 36th minute.
The Spirit came out strong attacking and passing throughout the midfield, switching fields, and allowing for buildups to grow within the offensive third. Making history in the 46+ minute, Dunn would score a hat trick with a header thanks to a beautiful service off a corner from Nairn.
Going into the locker room, the Spirit had seven shots on goal to the Dash’s one shot on goal. Ahead 3-0 at the half, the Spirit sell-out crowd were on the edge of their seats for the excitement of the second half.
The second half resulted in one more goal, for the Dash. Ohai dribbling down the right hand side, crossed the ball to a running McDonald, cutting in front of her defender and heading the ball into the back of the net. The Spirit’s backline was caught flat-footed and the score was 3-1 in the 74th minute.
Spirit defender, Josephine Chukwununye, made her NWSL debut in the 80th minute before the last opportunity for the Dash to close the score coming in the 89th minute, when Ohai looked up and passed to Carli Lloyd, but her shot went just wide.
The Washington Spirit, staying undefeated at home, finished their three game home stand with seven goals and only two goals conceded.