Utah Royals FC Go Unbeaten in Four-Game Homestand with 1-0 Win against Houston Dash at Rio Tinto Stadium
SANDY, Utah - Utah Royals FC (2-1-5, 11 points) won their second match in club history Saturday against the Houston Dash, ending with a score line of 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. A crucial goal by FW Erika Tymrak- assisted by MF Gunny Jonsdottir- marked the only goal of the game, while GK Abby Smith took home her fourth clean sheet - and the sixth of her young NWSL career - for the squad.
While URFC only once, it dominated the match against the Houston side, holding 63% possession (compared to the Dash's 36%), and nearly doubled the total passes throughout the game- 557 passes to Houston's 310. The team controlled the run of play throughout both halves, registering an 80% passing accuracy, included DF Becky Sauerbrunn ending in a 97% passing accuracy.
Amid the dominating play in the first half, MF Gunny Jonsdottir sent a throughball into the box for a streaking FW Amy Rodriguez, who was clipped from behind just moments after receiving the ball. FW Diana Matheson stepped up to take the penalty kick, but USWNT GK Jane Campbell blocked the shot, ending the half scoreless.
FW Erika Tymrak changed the momentum midway through the game, placing a shot into the side-netting in the 51st minute. The play started on a counterattack, initiated by Jonsdottir, as the Icelandic international ran through Houston's midfield, pulling multiple white jerseys to the far-side of the pitch. Before entering the box, Gunny passed the ball across to a feinting Rodriguez, who let the ball slide past her into the waiting feet of Tymrak - who coolly slipped the ball past Campbell's diving arms.
UP NEXT: URFC will be looking for three points as they head to Providence Park next Friday, May 25, to take on the 2017 NWSL Cup Champions, Portland Thorns FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT, and will include USWNT stars like MF Tobin Heath taking on DF Becky Sauerbrunn and FW Amy Rodriguez.
UTAH: FW Erika Tymrak, 51' - MF Gunny Jonsdottir capitalized on a counter attack by dribbling down the far side of the field to the top of the eighteen-yard box, where she looked to find a cross to target striker, Amy Rodriguez. A-Rod, seeing an open Erika Tymrak in her peripheral, allowed the ball to skip past her to the waiting feet of Tymrak, who took a one-touch shot to the near post.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS
HOU: GK Jane Campbell, 30' - FW Amy Rodriguez received the ball inside the box with her back to goal, turned, and fired a shot to the far-post - but Campbell's dive parried the ball across the end line.
HOU: GK Jane Campbell, 37' - After the Dash defense clipped Amy Rodriguez in the box, Diana Matheson stepped up to the spot for the team's first PK opportunity in club history - but was denied by a Campbell block.
-- There are five players on URFC that have played every single minute for the club, including GK Abby Smith, DF Rachel Corsie, DF Becky Sauerbrunn, MF Gunny Jonsdottir, and MF Desiree Scott.
-- FW Erika Tyrmak not only scored her first goal for the club, but also registered her first start of the season.
-- All seven goals scored for the club have been scored by seven different players (Jonsdottir, Stengel, Ratcliffe, Rodriguez, O'Hara, Matheson, and Tymrak)
--Gunny continues to lead the league in fouls won, tallying 22 total.
Date: May 19, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, UT
Weather: Overcast, 71 F
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 1 1
Houston Dash. 0 0 0
UTA: Tymrak, 51'
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Abby Smith, Brooke Elby (Katie Bowen, 83'), Rachel Corsie, Becky Sauerbrunn, Becca Moros, Desiree Scott, Gunny Jonsdottir, Katrina Gorry, Erika Tymrak, Amy Rodriguez (Katie Stengel, 85'), Diana Matheson (Taylor Lytle, 67')
Subs not used: Nicole Barnhart, Lo'eau LaBonta, Sydney Miramontez, Brittany Ratcliffe
Houston Dash: (4-3-3): Jane Campbell, Allysha Chapman, Amber Brooks, Janine Van Wyk, Kimberly Keever, Kristie Mewis, Haley Hanson, Kyah Simon (Linda Mothalo, 72')Rachel Daly, Kealia Ohai (Veronica Latsko, 63'), Nichelle Prince (Thembi Kgatlana, 81')
Subs not used: Bianca Henninger, Lindsay Agnew, Mana Shim, Savannah Jordan.
Stats Summary: UTA / HOU
Shots: 18 / 7
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 0 / 0
UTA: Brooke Elby, 9' (Caution)
HOU: Rachel Daly, 12' (Caution)
UTA: Diana Matheson, 55' (Caution)
Center: Eric Tattersall
First Assistant: Jennifer Garner
Second Official: Maggie Short
Fourth: Brad Jensen
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