07/30/2016 10:46 PM
FLASH RALLY FOR DRAMATIC DRAW IN HOUSTON
Goals by McDonald and Williams Lead WNY Back From 2-Goal Deficit
HOUSTON, TX (July 30, 2016) --- The Western New York Flash (8-5-2) looked as though they were about to leave Houston without any points, but came away with a stunning 3-3 tie after Lynn Williams scored the equalizer in stoppage time against the Houston Dash (3-7-3).
The Flash got off to a fast start in Houston as Abby Dahlkemper fed a looping cross across to the far side of the 18-yard box to the waiting foot of Williams. Lianne Sanderson took in Williams’ one-touch pass and buried it past the outstretched hand of Houston’s keeper, Bianca Henninger.
The lead was almost stretched to two as Williams crossed a ball in front of the Houston net in the 7’, but Henninger made the save on a ball that was misplayed by Jessica McDonald.
Houston started to settle after the opening ten minutes, pushing the ball forward and using crisp passing to enter the box and apply pressure on Flash goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland. Eventually, the Dash added a tally to the scoreboard in the 31’ as Rachel Daly fired a rocket from well outside of the 18-yard box that flew into the top left corner of the Western New York net.
The match remained knotted at one apiece as the first frame came to a close, but the Dash came out of the locker room and almost immediately went up by a goal in the second half. Kealia Ohai took a pass from the Houston side of the field in the 47’, ran about 75 yards, and then used a quick deke to beat her defender and put the ball past Rowland.
Ohai scored her second of the match just fifteen minutes later, as Stephanie Ochs ran deep into the corner and eventually fed a long ball over everybody to the far side of the 18-yard box, where Ohai was waiting to fire a shot that deflected off of a Flash defender and into the back of the net.
The three goals scored by the Dash marked the first game where the Flash had allowed three or more since the home opener on April 29th, when the Flash lost to the hands of Washington, 3-0.
The Flash, hungry to cut the deficit, were able to settle themselves and play for possession before Liz Eddy fed a ball up the field and past Houston’s back line, where Williams chased it down and fed a quick pass through the legs of a Houston defender for the waiting foot of McDonald. Henninger stood no chance as McDonald fired buried the ball into the top of the netting to cut Houston’s lead to one.
Head coach Paul Riley used a couple of substitutions soon after McDonald’s goal to bring a spark to the visiting side, who were dealing with the abnormally high temperatures of Texas and looked a bit fatigued at times.
The Flash entered stoppage time still trailing by a goal, and Houston seemed to be soaking up the clock. In the third minute of stoppage time, Dahlkemper fed a near-perfect ball from half-field to McDonald, who used a header to quickly feed it across the box to a streaking Williams. In an astonishing sequence of events, Williams put the ball past the waiting hands of Henninger and tied the game at 3 with just seconds to play.
Williams and McDonald continue to show that the dynamic duo can perform at a high level. Williams now leads the National Women’s Soccer League with eight goals, while McDonald sits in sole possession of second place with seven of her own. In addition, McDonald sits on top of the NWSL leaderboard in assists, with six, after being credited with the helper on Williams’ equalizer.
With the draw, the Flash (26 pts) currently sit in a tie for second place with the Washington Spirit (26 pts). Portland Thorns FC (29 pts) sit in sole possession of first place after they defeated Seattle on Saturday evening, 1-0. Washington’s match against Sky Blue FC was postponed to July 31st at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The Flash, along with the rest of the National Women’s Soccer League, will take about a month’s break for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Western New York has four players competing in the Games: Sabrina D’Angelo (Canada), Abby Erceg (NZ), Alanna Kennedy (AUS), and Samantha Mewis (USA). All four players will begin competition on Wednesday, August 3rd.
The Flash will return to action when they host the Houston Dash at Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, NY, for the annual Pink Game. The match is set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match are available at wnyflash.com/tickets.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Houston Dash vs. Western New York Flash
Date: July 30, 2016
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas.
Kickoff: 8:35 p.m. ET
Weather: 84° Partly Cloudy
1 2 F
HOU 1 2 3
WNY 1 2 3
WNY – Lianne Sanderson (Lynn Williams) – 3’
HOU – Rachel Daly – 32’
HOU – Kealia Ohai – 47’
HOU – Kealia Ohai (Stephanie Ochs) – 63’
WNY – Jessica McDonald (Lynn Williams) – 70’
WNY – Lynn Williams (Jessica McDonald) – 93+’
HOU: Henninger; Privett, Brush, Roccaro, Moros; Brooks, Ohai, O’Sullivan (Heap, 86’), Ochs (Crosson, 88’); Henderson (Florio-Gavilsky, 76’), Daly.
WNY: Rowland; Eddy (Hahn, 71’), Dahlkemper, Niemiec, Hinkle; Zerboni, Smith, Doniak (Cayman, 71’), Sanderson (Hamilton, 83’); Williams, McDonald.
Stats Summary: HOU / WNY
Shots: 14 / 13
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 7
HOU – Heap – 92+’
WNY – Hinkle – 93+’
WNY – Dahlkemper – 96+’
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Bermudez
Assistant Referee 2: Amber O’Connor
Fourth Official: Ruben Campillo