Houston, Texas (April 15, 2019) — Jane Campbell had an opening day of NWSL action that she’ll never forget. The Houston Dash goalkeeper, with only seconds remaining in second half play, gave up a penalty kick to the Reign FC.
Campbell ended up tripping Jodie Taylor, a striker for the Reign, inside her own box. However, Campbell redeemed herself seconds later, as Taylor took a soft penalty that was saved.
Jane Campbell denies Jodie Taylor of game-winning goal in Houston Dash, Reign FC draw
After the match, Campbell said that her “silly” mistake couldn’t stop “class player” Taylor.
“She sold the foul and got the penalty kick, and I’m just thankful that I went the right way,” Campbell said. “I’m bummed we didn’t get the win; we had chance after chance, and that’s OK, but I thought overall the collective that we put out all 90 minutes for the most part was pretty impressive for us, and I think all of us are pretty pleased with what happened. Obviously we want three points at home, but we’ll settle with the tie instead of a loss.”
Campbell is now tied at second in NWSL history with four penalty kick saves. She has also denied Kelley O’Hara, Heather O’Reilly, Sam Kerr and Marta. The official NWSL record is six penalty saves, which is currently held by Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. However, that’s a record that Campbell doesn’t want to break.
“I hope there’s no more PK’s, but I’ll do my best to save everyone,” she said.
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 15, 2019
The goals that DID go in
Campbell couldn’t deny Darian Jenkins, though.
Jenkins, a new member of the Reign FC after being traded from the North Carolina Courage, slotted in her first goal with her new club in the second half. Taylor earned the assist on Jenkins’ goal, which was scored using her right foot at the top of the box.
James Clarkson, the first-year Dash head coach, said that his team had a great response after conceding a goal.
“I think we went to sleep and we got caught on the counter and the Reign were pretty dangerous on the counter all through the second half,” Clarkson said. “But we rallied and I thought we showed some real spirit, a real desire and hunger to win the game and not just hang on for a point.”
Meanwhile, it was Houston that earned the first tally of the match. Nichelle Prince, a Canadian international, picked off a pass from the Reign FC defense and slotted it past Michelle Betos. After the match, Prince said it was good to get on the pitch after limited time under Vera Pauw las season.
“It is definitely a good feeling as a striker when you are putting it in the back of the net,” Prince said. “Hopefully there is more to come, but obviously it just helps your confidence getting that goal in the first game… I had a lot to learn last year and I put in the work this offseason. I am ready to claim my spot and be ready to be the player this team needs on the field. So I am going to work everyday to make sure that I continue to put a good performance and make an impact to this team.”
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 14, 2019
- Lots of Reign FC injuries: It wasn’t a great opening start to the season for Vlatko Andonovski in terms of player health. Jasmyne Spencer went down in the 24th minute with a knee injury. She was later seen on crutches heading back to the bench. Meanwhile, Megan Oyster exited the match in the 40th minute. However, unlike Spencer, she was able to walk off on her own pattern. For Spencer, with the injury being non-contact, the worst fear is an ACL or MCL tear.
- Latsko almost wins it: After spending this past offseason in Australia working harder on her craft, Veronica Latsko almost clinched the game-winner for the Dash in the 89th minute. However, Betos came up with a huge save to block the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native. After the match, Clarkson called the block “unlucky” for Latsko. However, the second-year player has to feel good with getting a good look at net.
- The wait for Kristie Mewis’ return: Last year, Kristie Mewis fell to an ACL injury early in the season. She was on the bench for Houston’s tilt against the Reign, but did not enter the match. Her return to regular-season NWSL action will have to wait another week.
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 14, 2019
- For Houston: The Dash will feature against Sky Blue FC in their home opener at Yurcak Field in New Jersey on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
- For the Reign FC: Easter Sunday will see the Reign hosting their home opener at Cheney Field in Tacoma, Washington, at 10 p.m. ET. The Reign moved from Seattle to Tacoma this past offseason.