Two second half goals push Utah Royals FC past the Dash 2-1
Utah Royals FC move to sixth place in the standings
Katie Stengel scored her
Katie Stengel scored her

Utah Royals FC responded with two second half goals to beat the Houston Dash 2-1 in Week 19 NWSL action at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press and forward Katie Stengel scored for the visitors, and Dash midfielder Veronika Latsko scored her team’s only goal on the night in the first half.

With the win, Utah Royals FC improve to 6-6-7 (25 pts) and shift ahead the Dash in the standings for sixth place. The Dash drop to 6-6-7 (23 pts) and into seventh place.

In the 41st minute Dash midfielder Sofia Huerta found Latsko in the box off a free kick service. Latsko headed it home for her third goal of the season.

The Dash went into the second half with the lead and in the 65th minute looked like they were going to get another one when Huerta dribbled past all of Utah’s backline and had a chance to chip goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Barnhart made the stop to deny Huerta’s chance.

Huerta finished the game with five shots, three key passes and the assist to Latsko. Defensively the Dash looked strong in Clare Polkinghorne‘s efforts — she finished the game with five tackles, eight clearances, two interceptions and one block

However, in the 77th minute, center back Amber Brooks received a pass from goalkeeper Jane Campbell and didn’t check over her shoulder to see Press, pressing.

Press read the play, stole the ball from Brooks and buried it to equalize the game at 1-1. Press finished the game with a goal and two shots.

In the 68th minute, Stengel entered the game for Katrina Gorry and within minutes became the spark that Utah needed. In the 83rd minute, Utah Royals FC combined for some passing in the midfield before Erika Tymrak saw an opening to chip the Dash backline. Tymrak played in Stengel over-the-top and Stengel tapped it over Campbell for the 2-1 lead.

Stengel finished her fourth goal of the season and she leads Utah in scoring.

Utah defender Becky Sauerbrunn held down the other side of the pitch making 11 clearances, 4 interceptions and three tackles. Barnhart made four saves in the win, and Campbell made three saves in the loss.

Next up: Utah Royals FC will host the Spirit on Wednesday, and the Dash will travel to Sky Blue FC on Saturday.

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