Needing a win to stay alive in the playoff race Houston Dash eventually took on Seattle Reign after a one hour rain delay at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night. The rain created a heavy pitch which made life tough for any passing but it mattered little for Kim Little as she tore Houston apart and scored a hat-trick to beat Houston 3-0.
It was Seattle Reign who went for the match from the opening whistle as they were looking the more dangerous side. Chasing their second straight regular season title, Seattle were determined to keep picking up the points and close out the season.
Despite that Houston Dash had the first chance as Carli Lloyd sent a ball in for Jessica McDonald who was able to run on to the ball. But the ball was held up in the standing water, forcing McDonald to slow down which changed her stance and saw her send it over the bar.
That lead to a period of Houston control and in the 16th minute they had another chance as Meghan Klingenberg made a great run. That allowed her to look up and cross for McDonald whose header was agonizingly wide.
In the 22nd minute Beverley Yanez should have opened the scoring as she was left wide open by the Dash defense. That allowed Kim Little to send in the cross but Yanez could only get under it, coming too far forward and heading it over the bar.
Houston Dynamo thought they had the lead in the 40th minute as new professional found a wide open McDonald. She buried it but her effort was denied by the offside flag, leaving the hearty crowd that remained disappointed.
And just 90 seconds later Seattle had the lead as superb Lauren Barnes long ball played through Little. She ran through one-on-one on goal, and was able to score easily to give Seattle a 1-0 lead at the half.
The second half saw Seattle remain in control as they really looked to take the game away from the Dash. In the 67th minute a free-kick gave Seattle a golden opportunity as Megan Rapinoe found Jess Fishlock, only for Erin McLeod to make a phenomenal save to keep it 1-0.
But seven minutes later Reign doubled their lead as Little scored her brace as she found space at the top of the box. That was a bad mistake from Houston as she exploited the space and buried it to make it 2-0 to Seattle.
Houston really went for it in the final 15 minutes as they tried to set up an interesting finish but the Seattle defense was just proving too strong. In stoppage time some stunning work from Little wrapped up her hat-trick and the 3-0 win as she skipped past three defenders, forced McLeod to ground and was left with an easy finish for a big win.