Photo Credit: Tony Quinn/ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md. (Sept 3, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (11-3-3, 36 points) clinched a playoff spot with a 1-1 draw against the Western New York Flash (8-5-4, 28 points) at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The thrilling match between the two teams kept the audience of 4,527 on their feet. Spirit forward Katie Stengel opened the scoring in the 64th minute with a floated ball into an open net. In the 86th minute, Flash midfielder Sam Mewis tied the game with a driven ball from the top of the box.
“I thought they really put us under a lot of pressure and we had a lot of trouble grabbing the tempo of the game in the first twenty-five minutes,” said general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra regarding the result of the match. “But second half I think we rode it out.”
Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys recorded a massive 12 saves throughout the 90 minutes, several of which were deciding factors in the Spirit securing the draw. Wys came up big, tipping the ball over the crossbar and clearing in crucial moments. In the 37th minute, a cutback cross landed right at the feet of Western New York’s Lynn Williams just inches from the top of the six yard box. Williams blasted a ball toward Wys, but her quick reaction allowed her to tip the ball away from the net to roll out for a Flash corner.
The scoring in the match finally opened in the 64th minute when Crystal Dunn sent a ball in toward the feet of Stengel, who had taken several chances on net throughout the game. Stengel found herself 1v1 with Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo, who was running off of her line to collect. D’Angelo could not get a hold on the ball, and Stengel jumped over the keepers’ dive, leaving her facing an open net. Stengel drove a shot from the right side that soared into the left side of the goal.
In the 86th minute, Christine Nairn made a jumping save, heading the ball off the line after a shot from Western New York. Just seconds later, after chaos in the box, Mewis collected and equalized with a low driven ball from the top of the penalty box. Wys was able to get a hand on it, but could not stop the force of the ball, bringing the score to 1-1.
The Washington Spirit will play its next match at home against defending NWSL shield winners, the Seattle Reign, this Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. The Spirit will look to keep its first place lead and continue to move forward toward the playoffs.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Western New York Flash
Date: September 3, 2016
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 70, clear
Washington Spirit Lineup: 18 Kelsey Wys; 3- Caprice Dydasco, 24- Estelle Johnson, 5- Megan Oyster, 11-Ali Krieger; 23- Tori Huster, 7-Christine Nairn, 15- Joanna Lohman; 20- Cheyna Williams (8- Diana Matheson 55′), 12- Katie Stengel (6- Shelina Zadorsky 79′), 19- Crystal Dunn
Subs not used: 27- Line Sigvardsen Jensen, 1- Stephanie Labbé, 14- Francisca Ordega, 17- Cali Farquharson, 22- Alyssa Kleiner
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
WNY Flash Lineup: 1- Sabrina D’Angelo; 4- Elizabeth Eddy (11- Taylor Smith 78′), 15- Jaelene Hinkle, 8- Alanna Kennedy, 13- Abby Dahlkemper; 6- McCall Zerboni (3- Makenzy Doniak 79′), 6- Abby Erceg, 5- Samantha Mewis; 9- Lynn Williams, 10- Lianne Sanerson, 14- Jessica McDonald
Subs not used: 2- Michaela Hahn, 17 – Kristen Hamilton, 28- Britt Eckerstrom
Head Coach: Paul Riley
|1||64||Washington||Katie Stengel||Crystal Dunn|
|40||WNY||4||Elizabeth Eddy||Yellow||Tactical Foul|
|85||Washington||8||Diana Matheson||Yellow||Delay of Game|
Stats Summary: WAS/WNY
Shots: 8 / 25
Shots on Goal: 4 / 13
Saves: 12 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2/ 7
Fouls: 7 / 5
Offside: 2/ 1
Referee: Chris Spivey
Assistant Referee 1: Ben Pilgrim
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Skinker
4th Official: Danielle Brzezinski-Chesky