Carli Lloyd earned a hat trick in 55 minutes of play and Brittany Taylor added a goal in stoppage time to help the Western New York Flash to a 4-0 win over the Washington Spirit on Friday night in front of 3,364 fans. With the victory, the Flash extends their unbeaten streak to nine matches.
Lloyd opened up the scoring early, notching her first tally of the match in the third minute. Alex Sahlen collected a giveaway just inside of the Spirit’s side of the field. Sahlen played a ball to Sarah Huffman, who pulled her defender towards her before dishing it back to Sahlen on the right flank.
Sahlen played a cross in for Lloyd, who had three players around her but no one close enough to stop her from getting a clear header on frame and past Ashlyn Harris.
The United States midfielder doubled the lead for the Flash in when she put away an Abby Wambach cross in the 22nd minute. Wambach played a low cross just outside the six-yard box for a streaking Lloyd who finished the ball to the far post.
The Spirit’s best chance to get one back before halftime came in the 31st minute when Tori Huster put Jasmyne Spencer in on Adrianna Franch. Spencer was unable to get her shot on goal, sending it over the goal.
Lloyd almost completed her hat trick in stoppage time of the first half when she cut the ball back to fire a hard left-footed shot on target that Harris was forced to punch up over the goal. The ensuing corner kick saw a diving header by Veronica Perez headed up and over the net.
The New Jersey native would get her third goal of the match ten minutes in to the second half when she chased down a long pass from Wambach to get in 1v1 on Harris. Harris looked to have made the initial save but the ball slipped under her arm and into the back of the net.
With the hat trick, Lloyd became the second player in NWSL to tally a hat trick on the season (Sydney Leroux being the other).
Taylor added the final tally on a volley in stoppage time for her second goal of the season. Wambach got a head on the ball from the top of the box and flicked the ball back into the mix of players where it found Taylor for the shot.
The Western New York Flash currently sits in fourth place at 6-2-4 (22 points), just one point behind FC Kansas City. The Flash will travel to Chicago for an Independence Day battle on July 4 where kickoff is slated for 2pm E.T./1pm C.T.
With the loss (and a Seattle win on Saturday), Washington falls to the bottom of the table at 1-7-3 (6 points). Washington will host FC Kansas City on July 3 at 7:30pm E.T.
- Spirit shutout streak: The Spirit haven’t scored since their match with the Seattle Reign on May 16 when they exploded for four goals. There were few opportunities and even fewer dangerous chances on Franch. The addition of Pohlers was expected to generate some offensive spark but the Spirit have been unable to get Pohlers in dangerous positions, particularly without the likes of Diana Matheson who missed the match with an ankle sprain.
- Caroline Miller: Is out for the remainder of the season, which ties back into the above point. Miller was slated to be a promising young talent but saw her season cut short with an ankle injury.
- Harris’ Frustration: It was seen in the post-game comments following this match and it’s not hard to see why. The Spirit allowed Lloyd to have too much time and space on the first two goals of the match. It was similar to the second goal the Spirit gave up against FC Kansas City last weekend.
- Flash Unbeaten Streak: It’s still going strong. Some late game heroics (Brittany Taylor’s stoppage time equalizer against Chicago) has kept the Flash on top in tight situations. Western New York is getting plenty of chances for their stars and eventually someone has to figure out how to stop them.
- Missing in Action: Samantha Kerr and Adrianna Martin were both missing for the Flash while on national team duty for Australia and Spain respectively. The depth of the front line could be tested after Victoria DiMartino suffered what looked to be a knee/lower leg injury against the Spirit and was replaced in the 41st minute. Will have to wait for the injury report for the week to see what her status for this week’s matches is.
- Ingrid Wells Makes Flash Debut: Wells was claimed on waivers by the Flash on June 20 and made her debut in the 59th minute, coming on for McCall Zerboni in the center of midfield. She has been rumored to be the American midfielder signed by Turbine in Germany.
WNY: 3’ – Lloyd (Sahlen)
WNY: 22’ – Lloyd (Wambach)
WNY: 56’ – Lloyd
WNY: 90+’ – Taylor (Wambach)
WNY Flash: Sahlen, Salem, Zerboni (Wells 59), Lloyd, Johnson, Taylor, Huffman (Robinson 80), DiMartino (Perez 41), Reynolds, Wambach, Franch.
Washington Spirit: Harris, Hodak (Ochs 79), Chapman, Lindsey, Krieger, Gayle, Pohlers, Pressley, King (Worbis 64), Huster, Spencer(Williams 67) .