Created: 07/31/2014 11:44 PM WHEC.com
The Western New York Flash dropped its first game of a two-game road trip on Thursday night, falling 1-0 to Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field. It was the second-straight loss for the Flash who has been held winless in its last four matches.
With the defeat, the Flash falls to 7-11-3 (24 points) on the year while Sky Blue improves to 5-8-7 (22 points).
“I felt we created enough opportunities to put one in the net. It only takes one mistake in this league and we conceded on a mistake,” said Flash general manager and head coach Aaran Lines. “We worked hard to create opportunities, and came close to scoring many times, but now we have to move on. We have to now shift our focus to our game in three days against Boston.”
Kelley O’Hara scored the game’s lone goal to put her team up 1-0 in the 50th minute. O’Hara was able to get a shot off of a pass from teammate Nadia Nadim, sending the ball past Flash goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.
Carli Lloyd came inches from leveling the game less than a minute later with a 25-yard shot from the right side. Running onto a back pass, Lloyd hit the ball hard and low to Loyden’s right, but the shot screamed just wide.
Making her first appearance for the Flash since May 31, Abby Wambach led the Flash with six shots.
Wambach nearly scored her fifth goal of the season 54 minutes in, connecting on a cross from Sonia Bermudez. Bermudez was able to time her run to stay onside and found Wambach unmarked in the middle. The forward took a shot from the top of the penalty area, striking the ball around goalkeeper Jill Loyden who came off her line. Though the shot got past Loyden, the shot went just wide to the left.
The first half was fairly quiet for both teams, with Sky Blue generating the first chance in the 18th minute. Nadim capitalized on a slow back pass by Brittany Taylor, and was able to head in on a breakaway. However, Wys came out to tackle the ball away to keep the game 0-0 at the time.
Wambach had two aerial attempts late in the first half. First, Bermudez was able to find the U.S. international open in the 44th minute, but her diving header attempt went over the crossbar. Then, in stoppage time, Lloyd sent an inswinging ball to her USWNT teammate, but Loyden corralled Wambach’s shot.
Wys, who finished the game with nine saves, came up with a number of close-range stops to keep her team within a goal. The rookie goalkeeper punched away a quick-triggered shot from O’Hara in the 70th minute then, two minutes later, came up with another save, diving to her right to parry away an attempt from Caitlin Foord.
The Flash had two equalizer chances with minutes to play. Jasmyne Spencer setup the first effort, dancing through the Sky Blue defense to find Bermudez open with a pass. The Spaniard sent the ball across the mouth of the goal, but it was just out the range of Lloyd who slid toward the goal line. The New Jersey native had another strong shot on goal in injury time, but Loyden punched the ball away to preserve the shutout.
The Flash will wrap up the two-game road trip on Sunday when they visit the Boston Breakers at 6:30 p.m. ET. Western New York will then return home for its home finale, hosting Sky Blue on August 13 in a 7 p.m. game that will be aired on ESPN2. Tickets for the game in Rochester are available at wnyflash.com, by phone at (585) 454-KICK or at the Sahlen’s Stadium Box Office.