Veronica Perez scored in the first ten minutes of the match and Victoria DiMartino got on the board just past the half hour mark as the Western New York Flash topped the Washington Spirit 2-0 on Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 4,569. The Western New York Flash have gone on a tear since Week 3, going 5-0-1 since May 1.
Washington has now lost three straight matches and fall into seventh place at 1-5-3 (6 points) and are ten points out of the playoff race. The Flash jumped into third place with the victory at 5-2-2 (17 points).
Perez chested down a pass from Adriana Martin and hit a right-footed volley on target in the 10th minute. The shot glanced off of Spirit ‘keeper Ashlyn Harris, off the right post and into the back of the net. Harris made her return to the lineup after missing the previous three matches with a knee sprain.
The Flash’s lead doubled in the 31st minute when Alex Sahlen collected the ball off a giveaway on the right flank. Sahlen hit a high, looping cross to far post where DiMartino was waiting and she finished it past Harris for her first goal of the season.
The home side was unable to generate any quality opportunities in the first half but was able to create some opportunities off of the eight corner kicks as they pushed to get at least a point.
The Spirit’s best opportunities came in the final ten minutes of play off of Lori Lindsey corner kicks.
In the 83rd minute, Lindsey’s corner was punched out by Flash goalkeeper AD Franch and bounced around the box before falling to defender Kika Toulouse. Toulouse was able to get off a clean shot but it was just wide of the left post and hit the side netting.
Five minutes later, Lindsey’s kick went through Franch’s hands but second half substitute Jodi-Ann Robinson got a foot on it to clear it out of danger.
Both teams were missing players due to national team duty as Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Samantha Kerr were with the United States and Australian national teams respectively for the Flash. The Spirit was missing defenders Ali Krieger and Robyn Gayle, as well as Diana Matheson.
The match marked the debuts of Spirit signees Teresa “Lupita” Worbis, who came on as a substitute in the 70th minute and Toni Pressley who started and played a full 90. Defender Candace Chapman played in just her second match of the season, playing the first 45 minutes of the match.
The Spirit will look to bounce back against FC Kansas City on the road on June 23 at 8:35pm E.T. The Flash will finish up their four game road trip against Chicago on June 19 at 7:30pm E.T.
· Flash Streak: The Flash started the season 0-2-1 in April. Since then, they have defeated then undefeated Sky Blue FC 2-1 on May 1, then undefeated FC Kansas City 2-1 on May 11 and snapped a five game winning streak by Sky Blue FC in a 3-0 win last weekend.
· Washington Spirit Attendance: The Spirit played their first match at home since May 11. The 4,569 fans that packed the newly dedicated Maureen Hendricks Field in the Maryland SoccerPlex was the second highest draw of the season and its third sell-out.
GOALS 1 2 F
Western New York (5-2-2) 2 0 0
Washington (1-5-3) 0 0 0
WNY: Veronica Perez (Adriana Martin), 10’
WNY: Victoria DiMartino (Alex Sahlen), 31’
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
WNY: Victoria DiMartino (Caution – Holding), 36’
WNY: Adriana Martin (Caution – Delay of Game) 56’
WASHINGTON: Ashlyn Harris, Kika Toulouse, Dominique Hodak, Candace Chapman (Jasmyne Spencer 46), Lori Lindsey, Ingrid Wells (Lupita Worbis 70), Julia Roberts (Colleen Williams 75), Tiffany McCarty, Toni Pressley, Stephanie Ochs, Tori Huster
WESTERN NEW YORK: AD Franch, Estelle Johnson, Katherine Reynolds, Alex Sahlen, Brittany Taylor, Laura Heyboer (Jodi-Ann Robinson 62), Veronica Perez (Amy Barczuk 75), Angela Salem, McCall Zerboni; Adriana (Ashley Grove, 83), Victoria DiMartino