Dash coach James Clarkson on season’s end: ‘It hasn’t been good enough’


The Houston Dash lost 1-0 to the Washington Spirit on Sunday and missed out on qualifying for the club’s first NWSL playoffs.

The Dash, who needed only a tie to advance to the postseason over the North Carolina Courage, held the Spirit scoreless through most of the game. But in the 76th minute, Spirit rookie Trinity Rodman beat Houston’s back line and finished a well-executed long ball for her sixth goal of the season, ending the Dash’s postseason hopes.

The loss was Houston’s third straight to end the regular season, a disappointing finish for the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup champions.

“It hasn’t been good enough,” Dash coach James Clarkson said after the game. “I have to take responsibility for that … we’ve let the fans down.”

Still, Clarkson remained confident in his decision to go with a more defensive game plan in the 70th minute in an attempt to maintain the tie.

“I wouldn’t do anything different,” he said.

Dash midfielder Sophie Schmidt echoed Clarkson’s sentiments, saying the team’s “willingness and mentality” were not to blame for the loss.

“It was the execution that was lacking,” she said. “It’s sad that this group of players will never be together again. It’s so unfortunate because we wanted to write history.”

With Houston’s loss, the Courage advanced to the postseason, where they will face the Washington Spirit in the quarterfinals on Sunday.