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Diggs goal lifts Houston to 1-1 draw

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For the second week in a row, a rookie played hero for the Houston Dash. Last Saturday night it was rookie forward Kealia Ohai and five days later rookie defender Marissa Diggs goal in the 74th minute lifted A spirited second half defense and a relentless offense lifted the Houston Dash to a 1-1 draw with the Washington Spirit under overcast skies BBVA Compass Stadium.
Diggs goal salvaged a point for a team desperately trying to climb their way to a playoff berth in their inaugural season.
“I am pleased that we got the point but we needed three,” said Dash head coach Randy Waldrum following the match. “ We still have the teams in front of us that are battling for that fourth spot. As long as we are still in it mathematically we’ll keep fighting Every point matters and we need to get something out of every game.”
For the fourteenth time in 17 games, the Dash fell behind in the opening thirty minutes of play. Washington 8-7-3, 27 points) which had banged on the door in 10th and 17th minutes of play converted in the 19th minute. Lisa De Vanna who moments earlier had fed Jodie Taylor for a scoring attempt was on the receiving end of a Taylor pass that put her through and she finished with what Dash keeper Erin McLeod described as brilliant.
Houston (5-10-3, 17 points) outshot 8-6 and outscored one goal to none in the first half, tightened its defensive spacing and marking while the offense went to work to find the equalizer.
In the 49th minute, forward Melissa Henderson inside the six yard box pushed a ball through two defenders but Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris made the stop. The 72nd minute saw perhaps Houston’s most dangerous opportunity of the night. Defender Stephanie Ochs curled a set piece in inches away from the end line and just outside the 18 yard box only to see Washington clear it out the other side. Two minutes later, Houston’s fortunes would change.
Two minutes later, the Dash with eight corner kicks in the match made the most of number eight. Ochs from the near side corner set a ball in that found the raised foot of rookie defender Marissa Diggs who tapped home the equalizer on the far post.
“We talked about finishing at halftime,” said the rookie from the University of Central Florida. “I didn’t even know that it went in at first. I thought Kaylyn had scored but I was like alright after I saw it in the back of the net.”
Houston continues its quest for a playoff berth next Saturday afternoon in Chicago against the RedStars in a 1:00p.m. CDT match.

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