Red Stars start strong but can’t hold on in loss to Dash

Mallory Pugh scored her first regular-season goal for the Red Stars four minutes into the game, but the Dash scored in the 82nd minute to win it.

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Mallory Pugh scored her first goal for the Red Stars on Saturday in Houston.

ISI

Kristie Mewis scored just past a diving Alyssa Naeher off a lob from Nichelle Prince in the 82nd minute to give the Houston Dash a 2-1 victory over the visiting Red Stars on Saturday night.

Mallory Pugh scored her first regular-season goal for the Red Stars (1-2-1, four points) four minutes into the game, forcing a turnover and finding the bottom far corner of the net. Prince tied the score in the 18th minute with a shot from the far edge of the box. The Dash (1-2-1, four points) went on to win for the first time this season.

Pugh, who came off the bench Wednesday to tally two assists in a 2-0 victory over Kansas City, had 51 touches, 28 passes with an accuracy percentage of 75% and tied for the team lead in crosses with three.

In the 58th minute, Kealia Watt’s shot to the far post narrowly missed wide for the Red Stars. She was a consistent threat in the opposing half’s box in her first regular-season game in Houston since being acquired by the Red Stars. Watt led the team in total shots with six while picking up 41 touches, 12 passes and a tackle and clearance each defensively.

Kayla Sharples finished with the team lead in passes and passing accuracy with 56 and 87.5%, respectively. She also added two interceptions and a tackle and clearance each.

Tierna Davidson played all 90 minutes, parting with Sharples in the center of the defense and stifling the Dash for most of the game. Davidson led the team lead in touches with 77 and clearances with four.

The Red Stars return home to face the North Carolina Courage at 1 p.m. next Saturday.

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