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Flash jump to third with convincing win over Dash

Carli Lloyd served as playmaker in the Flash's big win in Houston on Saturday. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The Western New York Flash got back on track on Saturday, going on the road to defeat the Houston Dash, 4-1, at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Jasmyne Spencer, Samantha Kerr and Sonia Bermudez all scored for the Flash, in addition to a Becky Edwards own goal for the visitors’ final tally of the evening.

Spencer opened the scoring in the 13th minute, lobbing Dash goalkeeper Erin McCleod after Kerr provided a lofted through ball. Kerr got a goal of her own in the 28th minute thanks to Carli Lloyd’s masterful orchestration in midfield. Lloyd created the build-up before slipping Kerr in behind the Houston defense for the finish.

Kerr and Lloyd were also involved in the Flash’s fourth and final goal of the night. Lloyd played a low cross into the box toward Kerr, and Edwards slid to block the cross but the ball redirected into her own net.

“I thought the team was lightning tonight. We know, having played them twice, that they are an aggressive team at times. We dealt with that really well, we won individual battles,” Flash coach Aaran Lines said. “I thought our midfield today was the key. We were very good in the midfield and we defended well.”

The lone goal for the Dash came in the 81st minute, some 30 seconds after the Flash went up 3-0. Lloyd played a ball into Bermudez, who broke the Dash’s offside trap, sitting between Houston’s two center backs, and Bermudez dribbled around McLeod for the finish.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Dash immediately sprayed the ball wide to Kealia Ohai on the left flank. She dribbled forward, cut inside and sent a right-footed cross into the box for Jordan Jackson to tap in, giving the home side momentary hope.

Jackson also saw a left-footed effort go off the post in second-half stoppage time.

Defender Meghan Klingenberg made her long-awaited Dash debut, one that was delayed by international paperwork issues, U.S. national team call-ups and, earlier in the week, a thunderstorm that postponed the team’s game vs. Sky Blue FC in New Jersey.

With the win, Western New York improves to 7-8-2 (23 pts.) and sits in third place, above the Washington Spirit on goal difference. Those two clubs meet next Saturday in Rochester, N.Y.

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