Houston Puppet Dash players

It’s not unusual for Houston Dash to have a bride on the list at this point in the year. For the city’s professional women’s soccer team, November and December mark the women’s unofficial wedding season, falling between regular season games and training in January, although Dash has a good chance of making the playoffs this year. (They’re looking for a win or a tie against the Washington Spirit at 6 p.m. Oct. 1.)

However, four brides at once are joyfully out of the ordinary. Last weekend, their teammates hosted a surprise wedding at PNC Stadium for players balancing training, practice, game day travel and wedding planning.

Meet the four young women who have had high-risk events on and off the field.

Emily Ogle

“I’m having my first November 26 wedding,” Emily Ogle says. “It’s in Cleveland, Ohio – where I come from – downtown on the Tenk West Bank, which has a great warehouse-type industrial vibe. We’re both big families and teams, so it’s going to be a bigger wedding. Like over 300.”

The midfielder, 26, met her fiancé, McKinley “Mac” Curran, while they were both student athletes at Penn State University. Play team football too. At first, they were just good friends; Which all changed in the second year when Curran asked Ogle out on a date.

Dash Watch Party

When: 6 p.m., October 1

Where: Eureka Heights, 941 W 18

Details: eurekaheights.com

He took her to Field Burger and Tap, a farm-to-table restaurant near campus. Their jump from friendship to romance happened later, when she was home for spring break.

“I thought, ‘If this week goes well, when I get back we can officially start dating,'” Ogle says, laughing at the anniversary. “He picked me up at the airport, and we’ve been together ever since.”

Curran, now a physical therapist at the Texas Medical Center, was ready to pop the question by April 2021. He chose former Dash player Gabe Kessler to help plan the surprise proposal, a fake photo shoot in a studio warehouse space in Heights.

Ogle remembers it was a storm that day. It could have been cancelled. “I actually did not agree with my proposal.”

Fortunately, Kessler convinced her to go. “Yes,” Ogle said, and the engaged couple celebrated with teammates Dash that night.

“When you’re a little kid, you dream of getting married, and I couldn’t have asked for someone better,” says Ogle. “I’m excited to take the next step. We’ve been together for six years.”

Ogle describes her wedding style as elegant and classic. They add candlelight and Edison bulbs to soften the industrial setting. Its colors are green and white with gold accents on the bridesmaids’ dresses.

She’s a little nervous about the big day, but mostly excited to start a new chapter. “You’ve grown up and dedicate your life to the sport. Now (Mac) is here with me in Houston, which is amazing. He’s been with me throughout my football journey.”

Annika Schmidt

Defender Annika Schmidt asked her now-fiancé, Tanner Kreil, to come out three times before accepting it.

“I was very friendly and loved to have friends and didn’t like dating at the time,” she says. “Then God put this man in my life, and I couldn’t let that person go.”

They met through Athletes in Action, a Christian group on the University of Connecticut campus. Krill played hockey at that time.

Their first trip was more than just a double date, hanging out with friends and watching a movie. Krell took the lead next time.

“This was my first ever date,” says Schmidt, now 29. “We walked along the water at night on the beach and actually saw a shooting star.”

She was smitten. He proposed in December 2021 during a joint family vacation in Jackson Hole, U.S. A majestic helicopter ride through Grand Teton National Park ended in a field where Krell proposed to Schmidt in marriage.

“This is our element,” Schmidt says. “We love being in nature. This is where I can see God the most.”

The great outdoors will come into play on December 3, too, when they tie the knot in South Carolina at Sage Valley Golf Club, where her father-in-law is part-owner.

Her wedding style is contemporary and simple, with white calla lilies and shades of soft blue to match the greenery of the venue. The couple loves music and have booked a band and DJ to entertain their guests.

Schmidt is praying for good weather, knowing she is in good hands.

“I look forward to standing at the altar and God uniting us together. We have been looking forward to this for seven years,” she says. “And having everyone together for the after party. I love when it’s all over and you can go to the dance floor just to have fun.”

Nichelle Prince

Canadian-born and Dash attacker Nichelle Prince met her match on Bumble in 2017.

“It was the first and only date I went to,” she says. “I’m glad I didn’t have to go through a lot of frogs.”

Prince, 27, was new to Houston at the time and didn’t know anyone. She and Adrian Michael agreed to test their relationship in real life at Café Brazil, a coffee shop in Montrose.

“I just got out of college and I’ve always been around athletes,” Prince says. “He’s a musician, and that’s an interesting thing. It was really cool seeing his ambition, but in a different way. He has a 10-piece wedding band here in Houston, plays guitar and sings.”

Michael, who is from Berland, actually proposed during a prom, while his future mother-in-law was in town.

“My mom had never seen him sing before. So we got there, and five minutes later he called me onstage and started this song he wrote to me for our first anniversary,” Prince recalls.

This is the moment I realized what was happening. She looked into the crowd, and saw her sister and Michael’s family were also watching. Prince and Michael walked off the stage engaged.

They say “I do” in Conroe on December 10th.

“I invited 250 people; it’s a decent-sized wedding. I like simplicity and not overdo it, so there’s a lot of traditional stuff coming up,” Prince says. “I just try to enjoy the experience. With our lifestyle, we always travel or work on the weekends.”

Katie Notton

It is tradition at the University of Notre Dame that student athletes sit close to each other during football matches. This is where ice hockey player Kevin Lind set his eye on Dash defender Katie Naughton.

“All of a sudden I got this little alert, and a friend says this guy thinks I’m really cute,” Naughton recalls. “This handsome, tall guy waves to me. The first half spins around, and he comes over to say, ‘Hey.’ I guess it just required a little bit of liquid courage.”

Sparks flew out that day in 2013. They exchanged phone numbers, and Lind invited the cute girl from the playground to meet his family. The future bride and groom even took a picture together, documenting their sweet encounter.

A dinner date at an Italian restaurant the following Monday made it official. “She fell really fast, and very hard,” Naughton says. “He did, too. Although I don’t know if he’ll admit it.”

After a few weeks I knew – he was the one.

Eight years later, Lind suggested residing in the old trampling yards. The couple walked around the University of Notre Dame campus with their dog Corby, reminiscing about college.

“We wanted to take a picture with her in front of this chapel where Kevin asked me to be his girlfriend,” says Naughton. “There was a Houston Dash shirt with his last name and number.”

She turned to look at her then-boyfriend, and saw that he was on one knee.

The couple will marry on New Year’s Eve in Chicago, their joint hometown, at the Cathedral of the Holy Name and the Union League club downtown.

The bride features emerald green, black, and champagne hues pinned to her mood board—with crisp white blossoms. Plan to incorporate the holiday with gold accents and antique glass votive candles.

“Nothing crazy, but hints and notes for this time of year,” Haughton says. “I really like the elegance and ease and not too flashy. We are very much looking forward to finally being together for a long period of time.”

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