NWSL Challenge Cup: Houston dashes to top of scoring charts

Shea Groom helped set up Kristie Mewis with a backheel for the first goal and scored the second goal on a header to give the Houston Dash a 2-0 win over OL Reign at the NWSL Challenge Cup.

Houston moved into a tie for second place with host Utah behind the North Carolina, the only team that opened with a pair of wins. With five goals in two games, the Dash leads the tournament in scoring. In 2019, it ranked second to last in the NWSL with an average of 0.875 goals per game.

Under new French coach Farid Benstiti, OL Reign has yet to score in two contests. 

July 4 in Herriman, Utah
Houston 2 OL Reign 0. Goals: Mewis (Groom) 12, Groom (Daly) 54.
Houston -- Campbell; Chapman, Oyster, Naughton, Prisock (Simon 82); Schmidt, Groom (Nairn 82), Visalli (Prince 62); Mewis (Hanson 82), Daly, Stengel (Latsko 77).
OL Reign -- Murphy; Smith. Brooks, Barnes, McNabb; Long (Celia 65), Cruz (Andrews 78), Momiki (Taylor 63), Jenkins, White (Spencer 63); Balcer (Weatherholt 63).

Amy Rodriguez
scored on pass from Spanish midfielder Vero Boquete through two defenders in the 41st minute, and the goal held up for a 1-0 win for the host Utah Royals over Sky Blue FC in Saturday's early game.

The win was the first for new head coach Craig Harrington, who took charge of the Royals after Laura Harvey left to join the U.S. Soccer as a youth national team coach.

July 4 in Herriman, Utah
Utah 1 Sky Blue FC 0. Goal: Rodriguez (Boquete) 41.
Utah -- Smith; Ball, Corsie, Del Fava; Maemone (Weber 66), LaBonta, Boquete, Matheson (Jonsdottir 57), Strom-Okimoto (Bowen 46); Ratcliffe (King 66), Rodriguez (Ship 85)
Sky Blue FC -- Sheridan; Flores (Skroski 72), Riehl (Johnson 68), Lewandowski, Purce; Richardson (Baxter 85), Kawasumi, Woldmoe; Monaghan (Cudjoe 46), Viens (Onumonu 46), Eddy.

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