09/02/2016 12:54 PM
FLASH HIT THE ROAD TO FACE NWSL-BEST SPIRIT
WNY Looks to Snap a 4-Game Winless Streak in D.C.
BOYDS, MD (September 2, 2016) --- The Western New York Flash (8-5-3), who currently sit fourth in the National Women’s Soccer League standings, are heading down to the DMV area this weekend to face the Washington Spirit (11-3-2). Both teams are in the dead heat of the playoff race, and both sides could use a win on Saturday.
With under a month left in the NWSL season, the Spirit lead the NWSL comfortably with 35 points, six points ahead of the 2nd-place Portland Thorns FC. The Flash are hoping to retake 3rd place this weekend from the Chicago Red Stars, who moved ahead of the side by 1 point this past weekend after a 3-1 win over Sky Blue FC. The Flash also look to even the season series against Washington with a win after losing to the Spirit back in April.
Last Saturday, the Flash came back twice to earn a 2-2 draw at home against the Houston Dash, their second tie against the Dash in as many games. The Flash answered a Houston goal rather quickly as Jessica McDonald dumbed a pass from Lynn Williams, allowing Lianne Sanderson to come in and drive the ball into the back of the net for her third goal as a member of the Flash. The Flash continued to sustain pressure on Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams in the second half, although Houston was again the first team to score in the second frame. Makenzy Doniak notched her third goal of the season and career. The goal also gave Lynn Williams her second assist of the game, raising her season total to five. Over the final thirty minutes, the Flash and the Dash continued to trade scoring chances, with D’Angelo making two big saves to keep the game tied. While both squads had quality scoring chances, the game would end with both teams only gaining a single point in the standings.
The Spirit, on the other hand, won their game last weekend, as they gained a 2-1 road win against the Orlando Pride. In the second ever match between the Spirit and the Pride, Christine Nairn and Cheyna Williams scored to give the Spirit the win and an additional 3 points to increase their lead in the standings over 2nd place Portland. The Pride’s Sarah Hagen scored a goal about midway through the second half to cut the Spirit lead to one, but that would be it from the Pride. Canadian goalkeeper and Olympic bronze medalist Stephanie Labbé did not play for the Spirit.
The only previous meeting between the Flash and the Spirit in the 2016 season was back on April 29th at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in the Flash’s home opener. That game ended with a 3-0 Washington victory, although WNY dominated possession and actually led in shots 16-7. Diana Matheson opened the scoring 4 minutes into the game on a pass from Crystal Dunn Matheson would also second Spirit goal late in the second half, while the third tally was counted as an own goal.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s contest, the Flash are hoping for the four returning Olympians to continue to gel themselves back into the lineup. Defender Alanna Kennedy sat out last weekend’s pink game against Houston with a left knee strain, but is listed as probable for Saturday’s match.
Following Saturday’s game against Washington, the Flash will take a trip to Portland to face Thorns FC on September 11 for a match aired on Fox Sports 1. The Flash also travel to the last place Boston Breakers twice during September - first on September 7, and then again on September 24 for their final regular season game.
This week’s match kicks off at 7:00 pm ET at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. A live stream of the game will be available at youtube.com/NWSL.