In the first half, Katie O'Donnell was the driving force behind the US team, but all too often her teammates were sloppy with the final ball in Glasgow on Thursday.
The young Indian side tried to take the lead with captain Ritu Rani being a creative force in the mid-field. She tried to create some moves but the American defence denied her any scoring chances.
In the 60th minute, Dawson grabbed an opportunity and successfully converted a penalty corner for the US. Seconds later, Paige Selenski had the chance to double the lead for the US, but the Indian custodian made a good save.
India got a chance to level the score in the last minute but the penalty corner strike hit the cross-bar. India will play their next match against Belgium Saturday.