Photo: Wilf Thorne/ISI Photos
HOUSTON, Tx (Oct 9, 2016) – The Washington Spirit fell to the Western New York Flash in a devastating and well fought 2016 NWSL Championship final that came down to penalty kicks. Crystal Dunn scored twice for the Washington Spirit, equaling the amount of goals she scored during the entire regular season. Samantha Mewis earned the first goal for the Flash, and Lynn Williams scored the late equalizer in the last few seconds of the second half of extra time, thus sending the game into penalty kicks. After a hard fought and suspenseful battle from both sides, the Flash edged the Spirit 3-2 in penalty kicks.
Dunn opened the scoring early in the 9th minute after a beautiful long ball from Megan Oyster. Dunn bumped the ball over the head of Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo before shooting past two defenders into the open net.
In the 14th minute, Western New York tied up the score after Williams passed the ball to Mewis at the top of the box. Mewis made a quick cut back before taking a driven shot into the lower right hand side of the net.
Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys kept the match tied in the 57th minute after a corner kick from Abby Dahlkemper came dangerously close to the head of a Flash player, but Wys caught the ball with her fingertips and held on as she tumbled out of the play.
Less than two minutes into overtime, Dunn scored her second goal of the night to put the Spirit up 2-1. Captain Ali Krieger made a cross to Dunn who took a couple touches in the box before blasting the ball into the back of the net.
With overtime nearing completion, the Flash stayed alive in the finals moments of the match with a late goal. Jessica McDonald sent a ball into the box which found the head of 2016 Golden Boot winner Williams. The ball was perfectly placed and nearly impossible to stop.
The two teams, now 120+ minutes into play, had a brief break before penalty kicks. Both Wys and D’Angelo made incredible saves in net, while Nairn and Stengel scored penalty kicks for the Spirit and Williams, Hinkle, and Dahlkemper converted for the Flash.
NWSL Match Report
Match: NWSL Championship – Washington Spirit vs. Western New York Flash
Date: October 9, 2016
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, 90
Washington Spirit Lineup: 18 Kelsey Wys; 3- Caprice Dydasco (22- Alyssa Kleiner 22′), 6 – Shelina Zadorsky, 5- Megan Oyster, 11-Ali Krieger; 23- Tori Huster, 7-Christine Nairn, 5- Whitney Church; 14- Francisca Ordega (Katie Stengel 112′), 19- Crystal Dunn, 10 – Estefania Banini (8- Diana Matheson 80′)
Subs not used: 1- Stephanie Labbé, 24- Estelle Johnson, 20- Cheyna Williams, 15 – Joanna Lohman
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
WNY Flash Lineup: 1- Sabrina D’Angelo; 4- Elizabeth Eddy, 15- Jaelene Hinkle, 8- Alanna Kennedy, 13- Abby Dahlkemper; 6- McCall Zerboni (Kristen Hamilton 106′), Makenzy Doniak (11- Taylor Smith 80′), 6- Abby Erceg, 5- Samantha Mewis; 9- Lynn Williams, 14- Jessica McDonald
Subs not used: 2- Michaela Hahn, 28- Britt Eckerstrom, 20- Janice Cayman, 23- Courtney Niemiec, 25- Meredith Speck
Head Coach: Paul Riley
|Washington Spirit||1||1||2 (PK 2)|
|WNY Flash||2||1||3 (PK 3)|
|1||9||Washington||Crystal Dunn||Megan Oyster|
|2||14||WNY||Samantha Mewis||Lynn Williams|
|3||91||Washington||Crystal Dunn||Ali Krieger|
|4||124+||WNY||Lynn Williams||Jessica McDonald|
|84||WNY||7||McCall Zerboni||Yellow||Tactical Foul|
|122+||Washington||18||Kelsey Wys||Yellow||Delay of Game|
Stats Summary: WAS/WNY
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4/ 4
Fouls: 15 / 16
Offside: 12/ 2
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referee 1: Alicia Messer
Assistant Referee 2: Nick Uranga
4th Official: Margaret Domka