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Taylor takes over to lead Spirit past Flash

Jodie Taylor and the Washington Spirit celebrate her game-winner vs. the Flash on Saturday. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

BOYDS, Md. — Jodie Taylor scored a brace to lead the Washington Spirit to a 3-2 over Western New York on Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The two goals mark the first of the season for Taylor.

She also took the shot that led to the second of the Spirit’s three goals, but it ricocheted off the crossbar and into Flash defender Kathryn Williamson for an own goal.

Taylor, who turns 28 on Monday, opened the scoring in the 11th minute, but for the third time in as many games, the Spirit conceded quickly after their tally. Abby Wambach evened the score in the 18th minute. Carli Lloyd then gave the Flash the lead in the 30th minute and the Spirit tied up the game via that Williamson own goal in the 70th minute. Taylor scored her second goal 10 minutes later for the victory.

Taylor’s second goal came off a well placed ball from Lori Lindsey. The English striker got in behind the Flash backline and calmly chipped Western New York goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

A mere six minutes later, Vicky Losada played a ball into the box to a wide-open Abby Wambach. She easily headed beyond the reach of Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Lloyd’s goal was of the unassisted variety as the Spirit defense was unable to slow her down before she placed the ball into the left corner.

The turning point of the match was halftime, which saw the Flash leading 2-1. Tactically, the Spirit took Sierra off and brought on Matheson in the 46th minute, moving Crystal Dunn to right back. Spirit head coach Mark Parsons was made to deal with Flash midfielder Sonia Bermudez, who was causing havoc on the right side.

“I think we made a tactical switch (at right back) — we just wanted to get Crystal  there to deal with Sonia,” Spirit coach Mark Parsons said. “Sonia got a lot of success — we felt was a world-class player and it was going to take some experience to take care of her. That was the tactical switch and we obviously wanted to get Diana in. We knew she’d give us a spark and Crystal going back there and Diana coming in really helped us. “

Overall, the game was very physical. Western New York played their trademark physicality but the Spirit were able match it fairly well. Despite the physicality, Western New York’s Angela Salem was issued the only yellow cards of the evening. Salem was issued two yellow cards, one in the 75th and another in stoppage time, when she was sent off. Salem will now have to sit when the Flash face Portland on Wednesday. Salem had played every minute of the year until she earned the second yellow.

Last night’s match was the first time both Wambach and Lloyd have been on the field at the same time for the Flash. Wambach admitted that she was disappointed in the result and the team’s second half performance.

“Moving forward, I think when Carli and I are both on the field that doesn’t mean that other players can’t step up and play big games for us and I think that’s a lesson to be learned,” Wambach said. “Carli and I are great players obviously, we’re on the National Team, we have experience, we’ve been playing this for many years but the other players, the Vicky Losada’s, the Sonia’s, they need to step up and play as well when we’re not on the field as when we’re on the field. And it’s a lesson to be learned because Carli and I, even when we’re on the field sometimes we don’t have great games sometimes we’re off a little bit and we’re going to need our teammates around us to pick us up. The only reason we’ve ever gotten to where we’ve gotten to in our careers is because of the players that surround us and players that pick us up when we need it.”

The Spirit hope they can continue the momentum they created as they face Sky Blue Wednesday at home.

GOALS                                               1          2          F

Western New York (3-2-1)                 2          0          2

Washington (3-4-0)                             1          2          3



Goal    Time   Team                          Goal Scorer                           Assist

1          11        Washington                 Jodie Taylor                             Lori Lindsey

2          18        Western New York     Abby Wambach                      Vicky Losada

3          30        Western New York     Carli Lloyd

4          71        Washington                 Kathryn Williamson                  OG

5          78        Washington                 Jodie Taylor                             Yael Averbuch



Time   Team                          ##        Player                         Card               Reason

75        Western New York     6          Angela Salem              Yellow Card    Reckless Foul

95+      Western New York     6          Angela Salem              Red Card         Reckless Foul



Time   Team                          Out                                          In

45        Washington                 #22 Bianca Sierra                   #8 Diana Matheson

61        Western New York     #14 Vicky Losada                   #7 McCall Zerboni

69        Western New York     #8 Sonia Bermudez                 #15 Jasmyne Spencer

83        Washington                 #6 Lori Lindsey                       #28 Jordan Angeli

83        Western New York     #12 Kristen Edmonds              #23 Haley Palmer

90        Washington                 #17 Veronica Perez                #9 Renee Cuellar



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