Houston Dash Win Challenge Cup By Shutting Down Julie Ertz And Chicago

The Dash didn’t concede a single goal in the knockout rounds.

The Houston Dash claimed the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup by defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-0 in Sunday’s final at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. 

Kristie Mewis earned a penalty for Houston in the fourth-minute and veteran Canadian midfielder Sophie Schmidt sent Alyssa Naeher the wrong way for the game’s opening goal before Shea Groom added the second in second half stoppage time. 

The Dash joined the league in 2014 but failed to make the playoffs in the club’s first six years of existence, but they earned the number four seed in the knockout round of the Challenge Cup before defeating Utah in the quarters and Portland in the semis.

Dash forward Rachel Daly entered the match as the player to watch with three goals, but it was Mewis who created the opener early by beating Kayla Sharples out wide before the defender pulled her back in the area.

Sharples gave the referee no option but to point to the spot and Schmidt did the rest.   

Chicago — defeated finalists in 2019 as well — came close to equalizing on a number of chances, including a Savannah McCaskill header that rebounded off the post. 

But the match was settled in the 91st minute when Groom rounded Naeher before driving the nail in the coffin. 

Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell finished with four saves while posting her third straight shutout.

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