Game at a Glance: URFC vs. HOU
Utah Royals FC 1, Houston Dash 0
May 19, 2018; Sandy, Utah; Rio Tinto Stadium
Utah Royals FC (2-1-5, 11 points); Houston Dash (1-4-4, 7 points)
Woman of the Match
Forward Erika Tymrak is this week’s Woman of the Match – but for more reasons than just her spectacular goal. Aside from placing the game-winning shot into the side-netting, Tymrak brought a new spark to the offensive side. Playing the full 90, Tymrak created multiple opportunities in the attacking third, and was a dependable teammate in tracking back on her mark. Prior to Saturday’s match, Tymrak had only played 82 minutes this season – yet when called to fill the shoes of an injured Kelley O’Hara, she was prepared and ready to make her statement.
Head Coach Laura Harvey on Tymrak’s performance: “Today’s game was about how good we could be with the ball, and I know that’s Erika’s game. You know, finding the pockets of space in between [the] back line and midfield is where she is at her best… Erika hasn’t had as many minutes as she would like, but she’s going to be a huge part in our success. I’m really pleased for her today that she got the credit and the reward of the goal that she deserved.”
Much like the last time these two teams met, the scoreline was not indicative of the actual game. URFC dominated, finishing with 63% possession, and nearly double the passes of Houston (557 passes to Dash’s 310). Also paralleling their last match-up, Utah Royals FC held Houston to zero shots on target – meaning that Abby Smith accrued her fourth clean-sheet and sixth career shut-out.
What You Missed
URFC continues to average above 10,000 fans a match, making them an anomaly for crowd attendance in the NWSL. A portion of these fans were the brave men and women who serve our country – welcomed into the match for free as a way of celebrating Armed Forces Day.
It was also a beautiful day for soccer—but of course, it’s always sunny at the RioT.
Winning at home may be just what the team needs before heading to Portland for the first leg of a four-game road campaign. Laura Harvey and the crew can now use the victorious momentum to their advantage as they head to Providence Park to take on the Thorns. Kickoff is schedule for this Friday, May 25, at 8:30 p.m. MT, and can be found on KMYU, the KSL TV app, KSL.com or on local radio station ESPN700 AM.