The Western New York Flash defeated the Boston Breakers 2-1 on Sunday at Harvard Stadium in the Flash’s first-ever WPS game.
Christine Sinclair opened the scoring in the 66th minute to put the Flash up 1-0. Alex Morgan, who made her professional debut, assisted Sinclair’s goal after beating Boston’s back line, which she did consistently throughout the night. Morgan found space on the right side of the 18-yard box and played a square ball to Sinclair, who took a settling touch and struck the ball from six yards out to score.
Gemma Davison then made it 2-0 in 90th minute with a screaming shot from 20 yards out. The second half substitute collected the ball 50 yards from goal, dribbled up the middle of the field and hit a low, strong shot that beat Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher on Naeher’s right side.
Kelly Smith was able to make the game interesting when she scored in stoppage time to cut Western New York’s lead in half. Smith tapped in a rebound that came as a result of Lauren Cheney’s shot bouncing off the crossbar and down to Smith, who was waiting inside the six yard box. It was too little, too late for Boston, though. The Flash pulled out 2-1 victory, out-shooting the Breakers 16-8 on the evening.
“Good start to the season,” Flash Head Coach Aaran Lines said. “We came out, we played a little bit too deep the first half. They came at us, but I thought we had the better opportunities. We created more and came in at halftime, reevaluated one or two things tactically, went out second half, totally dominated and deservedly won the game.”
Morgan was active all night and caused nightmares for Boston’s defense. She should have scored in the 56th minute when Naeher came 30 yards off her line. Morgan touched the ball around the Boston goalkeeper, but her chip went high and wide. Still, the vision and athleticism was there from the rookie.
“I think that I did pretty well,” Morgan said. “I could have made some more runs and taken some people on, but I mean I think I had some good passes, had some good balls behind the back line and gave [Sinclair] a pretty good assist.”
Here is what Smith had to say postgame:
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