Created: 06/04/2014 11:39 PM WHEC.com
The Western New York Flash saw its winless streak move to five games, falling 1-0 to FC Kansas City on Wednesday night at Durwood Stadium. Amy Rodriguez scored the game’s lone goal, tallying her ninth of the season, and tying her for most in the NWSL, just before the end of the first half.
Despite a small differential in total shots, 11-9 in favor of the home Blues, the Flash were held to just two shots on target, both coming from Carli Lloyd deep in the second half.
Rodriguez put the Blues ahead less than a minute before the first-half whistle, connecting on a Leigh Ann Robinson pass. With Robinson carrying the ball to the right byline, Rodriguez made a near post run and was able to strike the ball past goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
The Flash, who have been held to just one point in their last five matches, pushed for a late-game equalizer but were unable to find a way past Nicole Barnhart and the Kansas City defense.
Lloyd sought the tying goal with a well-struck ball in the 88th minute after a nifty pass from Brittany Taylor, however Blues goalkeeper Barnhart was able to get behind the 20-yard blast.
The Flash had an early opportunity when Samantha Kerr was able to chase down a rolling ball in the sixth minute, working a two-on-two with Lloyd to her right. After finding Lloyd on the outside, Kerr received a cross in the box but was unable to put her one-time shot on target.
Rodriguez registered the Blues’ first shot with a quick volley in the ninth minute. Off an attempted header clear from Taylor, the U.S. National Team allocation found the ball in the box and fired on Williams, but the keeper punched the ball out of play.
Robinson nearly put her team ahead at the 24-minute mark, but the center back Taylor was waiting on the goal line, kicking the ball out on the far post. The play was started on a cross from Rodriguez and, with Williams shifting, Taylor was in the perfect position to keep the ball from going in.
Lauren Holiday set up Rodriguez with an opportunity for her second goal 10 minutes into the second half with a long ball over the Flash defense. The forward ran on to the ball and tried to chip over Williams, but the keeper was able to tip the ball as she came off her line. Kat Williamson eventually cleared the ball from pressure.
Williams came up with a big save on Erika Tymrak in the 63rd minute, stopping the second-year player from just feet away. After Tymrak beat two Flash defenders, Williams smothered the close-range shot to keep it a one-goal game. The Australia National Team keeper again denied Tymrak in the 82nd minute, with a shot from nearly an identical position after a quick pass from Rodriguez.
The Australian-American netminder finished the game with five saves.
Second-half substitute Jasmyne Spencer was close to capitalizing on a Barnhart miscue in the final seconds, after the goalkeeper bobbled a Lloyd shot. However, the ball was covered before the speedy forward could get to it and the Flash were held scoreless for just the second time this season.
The shutout ended a seven-game scoring streak for the Flash, the team’s second longest streak in NWSL play.
Missing from the Flash’s Wednesday night roster was current team-leading scorer Abby Wambach, who is recovering from a mild LCL sprain suffered in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Houston.
Western New York, in midst of it’s second three-game road trip of the season, will head to Portland on Saturday to face the Thorns. The 10 p.m. ET game will be the club’s fifth away game in six matches.