Spanish midfielder Vicky Losada scored twice and added an assist to propel the Western New York Flash past the Washington Spirit, 3-1, in front of 2,306 at the Maryland Soccerplex.
An offseason acquisition, Losada stepped up the scoring for a Flash squad without Abby Wambach due to a broken orbital bone.
The Spanish International kicked off the games scoring in the 15’ minute, catching Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris off her line and rocketed in a strike from well outside the box.
Christine Nairn searched for a quick equalizer, receiving a cross that left her unmarked in the 6 yard box but glanced a header off the post.
Western New York kept the pressure on Washington throughout the first half and often attempted to spring Samantha Kerr with a through ball into the attacking third but resulted in numerous offside calls.
Washington had another chance to equalize 12 minutes before the half as Jodie Taylor led on Diana Matheson at the top of the box. Taylor, with only a defender trailing, tried to chip a shot over Flash keeper Lydia Williams and into an empty goal but the attempt went just wide of the post.
After the half Nairn found the Spirit’s long awaited equalizer, after a lofted in a direct corner kick took a bounce, fooling Williams and landed in the net in the 50th minute
Four minutes after Nairn’s goal, Losada played in a free kick to a unmarked Brittany Taylor at the back post which the defender was able to get a cleat to the ball directing it past Harris for the 2-1 advantage.
In the 68th minute, Losada put the game away for the Flash converting an Adrianna Martin lead pass into a 1v1 and fired a strike past the outstretched arm of Harris into the top right corner.
While the offensive opportunities that plagued the Spirit last season seem to be behind them, the game sprouted some concerns of their back line.
WNY – Losada (1) – 15’
WSH – Nairn (1) – 50’
WNY – B. Taylor (1) – 54’
WNY – Losada (2) – 68′
WNY: Lydia Williams; Brittany Taylor , Katherine Reynolds, Amy Barczuk, Palmer; Samantha Kerr (Jasmyne Spencer, 90), Angela Salem, McCall Zerboni ( Courtney Wetzel, 87), Vicky Losada (Emma Kete, 78), Carli Lloyd; Adrianna Martin
WSH: Ashlynn Harris; Toni Pressley, Robyn Gayle, Tori Huster, Ali Krieger; Crystal Dunn (Veronica Perez, 62) , Yael Averbuch, Christine Nairn, Diane Matheson; Jodie Taylor, Renee Cuellar