ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Western New York Flash secured a spot in the first NWSL championship after defeating Sky Blue FC 2-0 at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday night behind two goals from Carli Lloyd. After being crowned the regular season champs, and with the win tonight, the Flash will host Portland Thorns FC next Saturday, August 31st at 8 p.m. in Rochester.
In the 33rd minute, Katherine Reynolds found her way down the right flank to the corner and crossed the ball into the box where, Lloyd finished with a goal off of a diving header.
“I saw her [Reynolds] getting down the line and I just said to myself this is one of those that I just have to get near post, go 100 percent and she whipped in a fantastic ball,” Lloyd said about her first goal.
Lloyd added a blast in second half stoppage time to clinch the victory.
“Carli has been tremendous in the midfield,” Flash head coach Aaran Lines said. “I thought she found the seams in between their back lines, she was able to pick the ball up, and she was involved on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively.”
Speedy Sky Blue forward Lisa De Vanna was looking for the equalizer in the 37th minute as she headed towards goal on a foot race with Flash defender Brittany Taylor. De Vanna edged slightly ahead of Taylor and a heavy touch caused Franch to jump off her line and break the opportunity before she could shoot.
The Flash pressed hard to double their lead in the second half. Offensively, the play of Abby Wambach, Sam Kerr, Lloyd and Adriana created many dangerous opportunities and scrambled the Sky Blue defensive line.
In the 58th minute, Brittany Taylor delivered a free kick into the box where Wambach was waiting and connected with a diving header that went just wide of the net.
De Vanna pressed hard in the 66th minute with an opportunity right outside of the box, but after too many touches she chipped a shot just wide of the left post.
Brittany Cameron made a big save in the 69th minute as she denied a wide-open Lloyd her second goal of the night. Lloyd was inside of the box and launched a powerful shot on goal, but it was in the direct path of Cameron. Lloyd eventually got the better of Cameron again, though.
— Attendance for tonight’s match: 7,316, second largest of the season.
— McCall Zerboni subbed in for Kerr in the 79th minute after missing the last two games due to an injury. She started every other game before her injury.
Flash: Franch; Barczuk, Reynolds, Taylor, Johnson; Salem, Huffman, Lloyd; Kerr (79’ Zerboni), Adriana (72’ Wells), Wambach.
Sky Blue: Cameron; Goodson, Rampone, Johnson, Cutshall; Makoski, Freels, Nick, Schmidt (55’ Lytle); Ocampo (62’ Adams), De Vanna.
42’ | Carli Lloyd – Yellow Card, Reckless Foul
51’ | Manya Makoski – Yellow Card, Reckless Foul
90’ | Danesha Adams – Yellow Card, Reckless Foul
91+’ | Sarah Huffman – Yellow Card, Reckless Foul
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