Clare Polkinghorne’s Houston Dash rose to third on the National Women’s Soccer League ladder with a tight 1-0 win over Orlando Pride on Monday morning (AEST).
Brisbane Roar and Westfield Matildas veteran Polkinghorne has not missed a minute of the season yet for Houston and was influential in helping Dash keep their second clean sheet of the campaign, as a stunning early goal from American forward Kealia Ohai settled matters in Texas.
Houston now have second-placed North Carolina Courage and leaders Utah Royals in their sights, while opponents Orlando are looking up from the foot of the table after their fourth loss out of five this season.
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Feature image: www.nwslsoccer.com
Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy – who starred for Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC respectively in 2018/19's Westfield W-League – started in attacking midfield and defensive roles respectively for the Pride, and saw the Brazilian teammate Marta denied by the crossbar, while Perth Glory striker Rachel Hill’s second-half effort was ruled out for offside.
Kennedy came close to restoring parity for the visitors but was unable to connect with a sumptuous Marta delivery at the back post.
The Sydney FC defender has scored Orlando’s only goal from five matches this season – a stunning bicycle kick in April.