Soccer is about much more than goals and wins or losses, so that’s how we choose to think about things around here. Each week we’ll be giving out a Player of the Week award, particularly since we don’t yet know if the National Women’s Soccer League plans to dish one out officially.
Despite the Western New York Flash’s 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC on Sunday, Flash goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was a unanimous decision amongst editors of The Equalizer as the NWSL Player of the Week. The award, after all, is about individual performance.
The rookie goalkeeper was unlucky to have been scored on in the 42nd minute, when a deflection in the box resulted in a McCall Zerboni own goal. But Sky Blue FC would have iced the game long before the final whistle had it not been for the brilliant play of Franch. She twice denied Lisa De Vanna one-vs.-one in the second half and was officially credited with eight saves, all in the second half.
“I see the future national team goalkeeper of the U.S.,” Flash head coach Aaran Lines said after Sunday’s game. However, his praise of the 22-year-old goalkeeper was of a cautious approach.
“It was a good performance from her. She won’t be happy with the goal that she conceded, but she needs to focus on doing that over another 21 games and playoffs.”