Updated: 07/25/2014 11:42 PM
Created: 07/25/2014 10:47 PM WHEC.com
The Western New York Flash was held without a point on Friday night, falling 4-2 to the Boston Breakers at Sahlen’s Stadium. The Flash, now 7-10-3 (24 points), scored first in the game but two goals in a six-minute span during the first half was too much for the home team to overcome.
Forward Jasmyne Spencer lifted the Flash to a 1-0 lead 14 minutes in, with a header goal off a pass from Carli Lloyd. From the left side, Lloyd picked out her mark and found Spencer waiting in the box to nod the ball past Breakers’ goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Two long passes from Kristie Mewis led the Breakers to a 2-1 lead by the 30-minute mark. First, from the right side, the midfielder found Lianne Sanderson open at the top of the penalty area. Sanderson trapped the ball down and took a couple touches before hitting the ball around Flash goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.
Then, just minutes later, Mewis was on the left side and sent Jazmine Reeves running into the 18. Reeves got locked into a battle with defender Brittany Taylor, with Taylor ultimately being whistled for a foul in the penalty area. Heather O’Reilly stepped to the spot to take the awarded penalty kick and was able to beat Wys give the Breakers the lead.
Boston increased its lead to 3-1 in the 39th minute, taking advantage of a Flash injury that left the team down a player for a brief time. Defender Katherine Reynolds had to come of the field after the trainer was called on, and Boston quickly threw the ball in, to an unsuspecting Flash defense. O’Reilly crossed the ball in and found Jazmine Reeves in front of the net. Reeves converted to make the game 3-1 entering the half.
Lloyd cut the Boston lead to just one goal in the 54th minute with her seventh goal of the season. Rookie defender Haley Palmer set Lloyd up with the goal, finding the Flash captain at the top of the box with a cross from the left. The U.S. National Team midfielder was able to maintain possession in tight quarters and beat Naeher with a shot to the right side.
The assist marked the first professional point for Palmer, who entered the match in the 43rd minute for injured starter Reynolds.
Though the Flash pushed for an equalizer late, the Breakers were able to take advantage of Western New York’s aggression, as O’Reilly broke free with four minutes left in regulation. The National Team allocation converted to make the game final at 4-2.
Just before Spencer’s opening goal, both teams had a chance in the 13th minute but the crossbar was hit on each end of the pitch. First, the Flash was denied when Kerr played Lloyd forward, who tried to chip over Naeher but the shot grazed the top of the crossbar. On the counter, Boston looked as if it was going to go up by a goal, but the crossbar came up with a save again. O’Reilly was just feet away from the goal line but her attempt after a Reeves cross hit the bar.
Lloyd nearly equalized in the 34th minute after battling for possession in the midfield. She was able to find Kerr outside to the right. The Australian sent the ball back to Lloyd who was open in the box, but there was not enough on the shot to fool Naeher.
Lloyd had another opportunity to double her goal total and tie the game in the 81st minute, but Naeher came up with a full-extension save to deny the midfielder after a hard header to the near post.