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Spirit blanked 3-0 at Western New York

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Boyds, Md. (July 31, 2013) – The Washington Spirit (1-13-4) lost 3-0 to the Western New York Flash (8-4-6) on Wednesday at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.

The Flash reeled off 23 shots to the Spirit’s one, an 84th minute header by Julia Roberts coming off a corner kick.

Western New York out shot Washington 19-0 in the first half, but only managed to score once as a result of superb goalkeeping by Ashlyn Harris.  The U.S. Women’s National Team keeper racked up seven saves while her counterpart, Adrianna Franch, was only forced to make one as she earned her fifth clean sheet of the season. Harris’ 77 saves are now just seven behind Franch’s league-leading total of 84.

The Flash took the lead in the 36th minute on a goal by Adriana Martin, who entered for an injured Alex Sahlen just 13 minutes earlier. Samantha Kerr provided the assist, corralling a loose ball after her shot was knocked away by Harris. Kerr’s shot drew Harris to the far left side of the net, which allowed her to find a wide open Martin in front of the right post. The goal was Martin’s third of the season, while Kerr earned her fifth assist.

Even as the number of scoring chances slowed down, the Flash continued to produce goals in the second half.

Kerr continued her productive outing with a goal of her own in the 59th minute, coming on an assist from Katherine Reynolds. A Western New York corner was cleared by Washington, but Reynolds chased the ball down and sent a cross into a scrum where Kerr was able to tap-in from in front of the left post. Reynolds notched her second assist of the season on the play, and Kerr’s goal was her fifth.

Carli Lloyd scored the third and final goal for Western New York in the 68th minute, knocking in a blocked shot off the foot of former Spirit forward Ingrid Wells. Wells’ shot deflected off the hand of a Spirit player, but the referee allowed the Flash to play the advantage. Lloyd capitalized by stepping into the shot as soon as it reached her feet, sending the ball just inside the left post past a diving Harris. The goal was Lloyd’s sixth of the season.

Washington was once again without the majority of its starting back line, with Robyn Gayle and Toni Pressley out with injuries and Ali Krieger only available as a substitute coming off a concussion. Krieger played 21 minutes after replacing Jasmynce Spencer in the 69th.

Free agent signee Marisa Abegg made her NWSL debut in the 30th minute for the Spirit, coming on at center back. She replaced Lindsay Taylor, who normally plays forward, but has started the last two games on defense.

With the win, Western New York remains in fourth place and in line for the last playoff spot.

The Spirit play next on Saturday, Aug. 3 when they face second place Sky Blue FC (9-5-4) at 7 p.m. ET. The match will be played at Yucak Field in Piscataway Township, N.J.

Washington returns to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday, Aug. 7 to face the Chicago Red Stars at 7:30 p.m. ET.  It will be the first of three straight home games to close the season for the Spirit.