Photo: Robyn McNeil/ ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md (Apr 28, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (2-0-0, 6 points) will take on the Western New York Flash (1-1-0, 3 points) in its second consecutive road game on Friday April 29th at Sahlen’s Stadium at 7 p.m. The Spirit currently sits atop the National Women’s Soccer League table after beating Sky Blue FC 2-1 last weekend. A long range goal from outside the penalty box by USWNT defender Ali Krieger and a ball slipped through the goalkeeper’s legs by Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson gave the Spirit the edge over Sky Blue.
The Spirit’s last match against the Flash during the 2015 season ended in a 1-1 draw. The goal for the Spirit came in the 16th minute when USWNT forward Crystal Dunn took a shot on goal that was deflected, but Matheson was there to collect the rebound and tap the ball into the back of the net. The equalizer for the Flash came from forward Lynn Williams, who capitalized on a deflected ball near in the penalty box.
Looking forward to this season’s results, the Spirit looks to maintain its winning ways on Friday against the Flash and retain its place at the top of the NWSL table. Solid performances at both ends of the field have propelled the team to victory in games against the Boston Breakers and Sky Blue FC. Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and her backline have only allowed one goal in two games. Right back Krieger and center backs Shelina Zadorsky and Megan Oyster have played every minute of the season so far. 2015 draft pick Caprice Dydasco and new Spirit player Alyssa Kleiner are battling for the left back starting position.
Going forward, both of the Spirit’s attacking minded signed draftees, Cali Farquharson and Cheyna Williams, have already made their professional debuts, bringing pace and energy to the latter parts of the games. Both Farquharson and Williams have created dangerous chances that have led to near goals. 2015 NWSL Golden Boot winner Dunn has played an important supportive role so far this season earning two assists and continuing to draw attention and defenders away from other scoring options.
“We look forward to the challenge that Western New York Flash presents,” said Spirit general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “They have a young and athletic team, and we will have to continue to improve.”
In the Flash’s first match of the 2016 season, the team defeated reigning NWSL champions FC Kansas City 1-0. USWNT midfielder Samantha Mewis scored in the 72nd minute after a penalty was called for a handball. In its next match, the Flash fell to the Chicago Red Stars 0-1, dropping the team to 7th in the NWSL standings with a total of three points. After starting the season with two road games, the Flash will finally have the chance to play in front of a home crowd.
The Flash has a strong roster this season. The lineup includes: Canadian National Team goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo who aided the Canadian National Team in winning the Algarve Cup, Mewis who scored the winning goal in the USWNT’s recent match against Germany, goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom who led Penn State to the 2015 National Title, and Colombian sensation Lady Andrade.
The Spirit will play its next home game next Saturday May 7th at 7 p.m. against Portland Thorns FC at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Be part of the NWSL soccer experience by calling 301-337-8579 or visiting our website.