The Washington Spirit were unable to end their scoring woes in their first road meeting with the Western New York Flash, succumbing to a hat trick by Carli Lloyd in a 4-0 defeat before 3,364 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
Lloyd tallied in the third, 22nd and 55th minutes, and Abby Wambach had three assists for the Flash (6-2-4, 22 points), who extended their unbeaten run to nine games (6-0-3) while the Spirit (1-7-3, six points) were shut out for the fifth consecutive game.
The Spirit improved in their possession but couldn’t find a finishing strike in the box.
“The disappointing thing about tonight was we’ve been talking about not giving up anything early,” Spirit head coach Mike Jorden said. “Getting down 2-0 in this league is tough to crawl back from. I give them credit, we kept fighting, and I thought after the early goals it was a pretty even game in the first half. In the second we saw some positive things we haven’t seen before with certain player combinations. But the lack of finishing and some poor defending ended up costing us.”
Lloyd first got on the scoresheet by popping up to nod a lofted cross from the right wing by Alex Sahlen over the head of Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
She added her second goal later in the first half, scoring on a ball delivered from the left wing, just getting a touch on Wambach’s low delivery to double the home team’s lead.
Moments later Holly King had a golden chance to cut into the advantage and give the Spirit their first goal in five games. A nifty buildup led to an open shot from the top of the 18-yard-box. But her skipping attempt was cleaned up by Flash goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
Lloyd was fortunate on her third goal, getting a second chance and an open net after Harris stopped her initial effort following a through ball from Wambach.
Brittany Taylor turned at the six-yard box to volley home a headed pass by Wambach in second-half stoppage time to complete the scoring.
The Spirit return to Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET to meet FC Kansas City. It will be the second and final time the teams meet in the regular season.