The Western New York Flash are the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League regular season champions after a shocking stoppage time goal conceded by FC Kansas City on Sunday cost the Blues what looked two weeks ago like a sure No. 1 seed.
The NWSL playoff matchups are set, with No. 1 seed Western New York hosting No. 4 Sky Blue FC at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, while No. 2 FC Kansas City hosts No. 3 Portland Thorns FC at 2 p.m. ET on a Fox network (likely Fox Sports 2).
Kansas City’s loss meant that the top three teams all finished on 38 pts., but the Flash hold a superior head-to-head record on Kansas City and a the best goal differential in the league.
A tie would have done for FC Kansas City against the Red Stars, and it looked like they would get that until Chicago’s Jen Hoy tapped in her second goal of the game to ruin Kansas City’s day. Lauren Holiday’s giveaway at midfield led to the Chicago counterattack.
So the road to the championship runs through Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., as the Flash look for an unprecedented fourth championship in four straight years in a fourth different league. There’s a one-of-a-kind script.
Here’s how the four playoff teams finished, in the tightest campaign imaginable:
|1.||Western New York Flash||38||22||10||4||8||36||20||16|
|2.||FC Kansas City||38||22||11||6||5||34||22||12|
|3.||Portland Thorns FC||38||22||11||6||5||32||25||7|
|4.||Sky Blue FC||36||22||10||6||6||31||26||5|