Houston Dash isn’t letting their all-time leading scorer go anytime soon

TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 08: Kealia Ohai of the USA celebrates with the trophy after the USA won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Final match between USA and Germany at the National Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ian Walton - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The Houston Dash is announcing their new agreement with team captain and all-time leading scorer Kealia Ohai.

Ohai has reigned as a team leader since she was the squad’s first draft pick in 2014. She is also the only remaining player from the team’s inaugural season in the National Women’s Soccer League.

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Ohai holds the all-time team records in assists (12), goals (12) and appearances (72). She scored two goals and had two assists in 10 games at the start of the 2017 season.

She suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee in June and was sidelined for the rest of the season. She underwent surgery, as well as extensive physical therapy, and expects to be ready for the team’s preseason training camp in mid-February.

In a press statement, first-year head coach Vera Pauw expressed the team’s excitement at the return of “one of [their] key players.”

“We will make sure that she returns to the field at her best level,” Pauw said. “We are excited to keep her with the squad because she will play an important role on various fronts. She has been here from the beginning and we will do everything we can to make sure she is playing at the high level we know she can and help her raise the bar.”

Ohai, 25, may be as well known in Houston for her personal life, which has been romantically linked to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Watt also suffered a season-ending injury last year when he broke his left tibia in October against the Kansas City Chiefs.

With Ohai’s new contract in place, and Watt signed with the Texans until 2022, the “it” couple of the Houston sports scene need not worry about the perils of a long-distance relationship anytime soon.

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