Soccer·Challenge Cup

Sky Blue use early pair to burst past Houston Dash for 1st win of tournament

Paige Monaghan and Nahomi Kawasumi scored to give Sky Blue FC a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League's Challenge Cup tournament Wednesday night.

Houston suffers 1st loss as North Carolina clinches top seed for knockout round

Sky Blue's Sabrina Flores is seen above at an earlier Challenge Cup game. On Wednesday, Flores' Blue defeated the Houston Dash 2-0. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Paige Monaghan and Nahomi Kawasumi scored to give Sky Blue FC a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League's Challenge Cup tournament Wednesday night.

Monaghan scored Sky Blue's first goal of the tournament in the 17th minute, when Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell came out of the goal and Monaghan slipped around her on the run for a shot into an empty net.

Kawasumi also caught Campbell out of goal to put Sky Blue up 2-0 in the 34th minute. It was the team's first win of the group stage at Zions Bank Stadium.

Sky Blue, based in New Jersey, was playing in Utah without U.S. national team players Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh, who are both nursing injuries.

WATCH | Blue stun Dash with 2 goals in 1st half:

Paige Monaghan and Nahomi Kawasumi found the back to the net to lead Sky Blue FC to a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dash. 1:00

It was the first loss of the tournament for the Dash, who were a surprise of the Challenge Cup after finishing seventh in the league last season. Houston co-captain Rachel Daly has two goals and an assist.

With Sky Blue's victory, the North Carolina Courage secured the top seed for the knockout round of the tournament.

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