Created: 06/11/2014 11:29 PM WHEC.com
The Western New York Flash was denied its second win streak of the season, falling to the host Houston Dash 2-1 on a hot Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. Tied at 1-1 midway through the second half, a penalty kick goal from Teresa Noyola proved to be the difference as the NWSL’s first expansion team picked up its first home win ever with the midweek victory.
“Obviously the weather conditions were very hot. It was clear both teams were in tough conditions, physically,” said Flash Assistant Coach Pedro Losa, who managed his second-straight game with Head Coach Aaran Lines in Buffalo awaiting the birth of his first child. “We came here with 15 players so it was tough for us, but my team gave everything. They gave more than everything. I’m obviously not happy with the result but I can go home happy with the players giving everything in this result.”
The Dash pulled ahead for good in the 65th minute after Jasmyne Spencer tackled Kaylyn Kyle in the penalty box. Noyola, a Mexican international, stepped to the spot and was able to beat Lydia Williams, shooting to the goalkeeper’s right.
The game-winning goal came less than three minutes after second-half substitute Adriana Martin drew the Flash level at 1-1. Entering the game just eight minutes prior, McCall Zerboni sent a ball to the forward that defender Osinachi Ohale could not clear. The Spanish international capitalized, chipping a well-paced ball over the head of Erin McLeod and into the Dash net for her first goal of the season.
Tiffany McCarty scored Houston’s opening goal with five minutes to play in the first half, putting the home team up 1-0. After Ella Masar battled to keep the ball on Houston’s end, McCarty used a spin move to get past defender Kathryn Williamson and find a shooting lane, firing to the left of Williams and into the back of the net.
The Flash pressed for the equalizer late, with three of the team’s four corner kicks coming in the final 13 minutes, but could not beat McLeod and the Houston defense.
Spencer, who started for the second-straight game, had perhaps the best scoring chance of the first half for Western New York in first half stoppage time, but McLeod made a diving save to punch the ball away.
After earning her first NWSL shutout on Saturday, Williams had another strong showing between the pipes for the Flash. The Australian National Team goalkeeper finished with five saves in the match, including a couple close range stops on Kealia Ohai. After the Flash upped the offensive pressure late in the game, Ohai was able to go on a break in the 87th minute to go one-on-one with Williams. However, the Flash goalkeeper came off her line to punch the ball away and deny the rookie forward.
A close-range Ohai shot was also punched out for a corner by Williams in the 63rd minute, however, the ensuing corner from Stephanie Ochs would lead to Spencer’s foul on Kyle.
Ohai had Williams beat in the 34th minute, but the left post kept the ball out. It seemed the Dash would go up 1-0 after the rebound came straight out to McCarty, but the forward couldn’t hit the open goal.
Adriana looked for her second goal of the match in the 69th minute, collecting a long cross-field pass from Kristen Edmonds and darting into the Dash penalty box. The forward used a cut back move to bring the ball back to her left foot, but her shot sailed high of the goal.
The opportunity came following one of Williams’ many acrobatic saves of the contest. On a 25-yard set piece from Noyola the Australian keeper made a full extension diving save to her left, keeping the Flash within one goal.
Spencer, Adriana and Samantha Kerr all tallied two shots for the Flash, who were outshot 13-9 overall. Wednesday’s finish was also the second-straight 2-1 Flash loss at the hands of the Dash, who played to the same result on May 31 in Rochester.
The Flash will return to Sahlen’s Stadium on Wednesday, kicking off a span that sees seven of eight games played at home. Western New York first welcomes the Chicago Red Stars at 7 p.m. on June 18. Tickets for the game can be purchased online at wnyflash.com or by phone at (585) 454-KICK.