Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell’s lone save of the match preserved a point for her side, blocking a penalty kick from Reign FC forward Jodie Taylor four minutes into second-half stoppage time, to result in a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. The penalty appeared to be the ultimate reversal of fortune for Reign FC, who gave up an early goal and were forced to use two substitutions in the first half due to injury, but the team left Houston wanting for more.
Taylor won the penalty in the second minute of stoppage time, picking Campbell’s pocket after a back pass and was tripped as she prepared to convert into an empty goal. After referee Karen Abt cleared the penalty area, Taylor stepped up and struck a low shot up the middle which was blocked by Campbell as the 24-year-old dove to her left.
Houston put Reign FC under pressure early. Ten minutes in, Dash forward Nichelle Prince pounced on a back pass bound for Theresa Nielsen and slotted it back toward the right post to give the hosts an early lead.
The Reign, who had dominated the first few minutes, had their attempts to reestablish momentum broken up ten minutes later when Jasmyne Spencer tied up with Christine Nairn and went down with a leg injury. Spencer was stretchered off and replaced by Elise Kellond-Knight.
Megan Oyster was also forced into an early exit, going down behind the run of play in the 38th minute and walking off under her own power to make way for Kristen McNabb.
Already lacking Megan Rapinoe, Beverly Yanez and Stephanie Catley due to injury, the early substitutes created more chaos in the middle of the park for the Reign, who were out-dueled 60-48 on the day.
The second half was a different story for the Reign, who found the back of the net in the 58th minute. Taylor hit a quick pass out wide for Darian Jenkins. The winger cut inside and took a quick shot from the corner of the penalty area that deflected off a defender and beat Campbell to the near post for the first goal in Jenkins’ NWSL career.
Reign FC continued to find its rhythm as the half went on. Taylor put a shot wide of the left post after a quick combination with Allie Long moving up the middle of the field, while a cross from Kellond-Knight was lifted just past Shea Groom’s head at the back post by Campbell in the 68th minute.
Houston managed two more close chances in the second half, with Sofia Huerta rattling the right post from long range in the 76th minute and Sophie Schmidt being denied by Reign keeper Michelle Betos at the near post two minutes later.
Betos finished with seven saves for the Reign in the draw as the club was outshot by Houston 16-9.
Reign FC now returns home ahead of their 2019 home opener against the Orlando Pride at Cheney Stadium Sunday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. PT.