After a break from National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action, the Western New York Flash look to continue their home form as the Orlando Pride travels to Rochester, N.Y., on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at wnyflash.com/tickets along with a live stream available at YouTube.com/NWSL. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @WNYFlash.
The Flash are coming off of two big wins at home after downing Sky Blue FC 5-2 and the Boston Breakers 4-0. Flash forward Lynn Williams is also coming off a dominant performance that saw her earning a brace in exactly 60 seconds and receiving NWSL Week 7 Player of the Week honors. The young Western New York side currently leads the league in goals (12) and shots (93) and hope to continue to create and finish opportunities with their high-pressure style.
“We’ve obviously been working on our pressure this week, which has obviously been key for us this season,” WNY Flash Head Coach Paul Riley said during training this week. “The higher up we win the ball on the field, the better it is for us.”
Riley mentioned that the Pride is “a tough team to play,” and reflected on the last meeting in which U.S. international Alex Morgan scored the lone goal of the match in the 79th minute back on May 14 in Orlando. But Riley and his team are looking to flip the script.
“For us, it’s just about getting a little bit better than last time and getting a good result. We’re home, and we want to make Rochester a tough place to come and play. That is kind of the goal of the whole week – make this a tough place to play.”
In their last match against Boston Breakers, the Flash were without midfielder Samantha Mewis and defender Jaelene Hinkle who were off with the U.S. Women’s National Team for friendlies against Japan, as well as captain Abby Erceg (New Zealand) and midfielder Alanna Kennedy (Australia) who played in two friendlies against each other back in Australia.
Despite players returning from international duty, the Flash are still missing some key components, including Canadian international goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo who was ruled out with a broken wrist. To make up for the loss, the Flash welcome goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland from FC Kansas City. Rowland is reunited with former UCLA teammates Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper and Taylor Smith, and is expected to come in right away to challenge rookie goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom, who made her first professional appearance agains the Breakers during Week 7 play, for the number one spot.
In Western New York’s last match, the team managed to put four goals past the visiting Boston Breakers. Rookie Taylor Smith and Abby Dahlkemper both notched their first NWSL goals along with Williams adding a brace to led the team to victory. Eckerstrom had two saves on the night.
The Pride are coming off a 2-0 loss to ninth-place FC Kansas City on the road. Orlando has struggled away from home with a 1-3-0 record so far this season.
Both teams currently sit tied at fourth in the league standings, but a Western New York win could see the Flash sitting at the top of the table with 15 points, pending on the results of other NWSL fixtures this week.
The Western New York Flash continues their home stand on June 17, as they host U.S. Women’s National Team laden Portland Thorns FC. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at Rochester Rhinos Stadium. Tickets for the match are available at wnyflash.com/tickets along with a live stream at YouTube.com/NWSL. Fans can also follow along on Twitter at @WNYFlash.