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Flash win opener without Wambach, 3-1
BOYDS, MD (Sunday, April 13, 2014) The Western New York Flash opened up the 2014 National Womens Soccer League with a 3-1 win over the Washington Spirit on Sunday afternoon. Vicky Losada, who was signed by the Flash entering the 2014 season, had a hand in all three of WNYs goals, finishing with two goals and an assist on the night.
I thought we performed very well, said Flash head coach Aaran Lines. We were determined, organized and we created good opportunities.
It didnt take long for the rookie to make her mark. Just 15 minutes into the game, the FC Barcelona transplant powered a shot from 30-yards out past former Flash netminder Ashlyn Harris. Playing with the wind, Vickys shot had enough height to sail over the hands of Harris and into the back of the net.
The Flash carried the one-goal lead into the locker room, but the Spirit equalized just five minutes into the second half. Midfielder Christine Nairn leveled the game at 1-1 with an individual effort off a corner kick, as she was able to bend the ball through the Flash defense and past goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
But the 1-1 score didnt last long. Just four minutes after Nairns goal, center back Brittany Taylor put the Flash ahead with a sliding goal off a Vicky set piece. Vicky targeted Taylor on the far post and the 2013 Best XI honoree managed to slide into the ball, for Western New Yorks second of the match.
Vicky finished off her exciting debut in the 67th minute, netting her second goal of the match. Making a run into the box, fellow Spaniard Adriana Martin found Vicky open and she was easily able to finish past Harris.
To see Vicky come in and have that sort of contribution is very fulfilling, Lines commented. This is a good start to her Flash career.
Both Western New York and Washington finished with three shots on goal in the match, with the Spirit posting the first change in the first minute. Jodie Taylor, who was a target for the home team much of the day, took a quick shot inside the penalty area but Williams made a full-extension diving save to deny the forward.
After Vickys first goal, the Spirit looked to counter off a header from Nairn, but the ball ricocheted between the post and Williams before going out of bounds.
With Abby Wambach sidelined with a fractured orbital bone, Adriana Martin and Samantha Kerr were the targets at the top for the Flash. Twenty-six minutes in, Kerr looked to connect with Adriana with a low, driven cross but the Spanish international was unable to make contact. In the 30th minute, rookie defender Haley Palmer sent a bending cross toward Adriana, but it went just over her head.
A Palmer delivery created another opportunity for the Flash near the end of the first half. Kerr was able to extend her right foot on the service and, despite solid contact, the ball sailed wide of the net.
Im obviously very happy with this result, especially against a much improved Washington team. To pick up three points is very fulfilling for us, said Lines. Our players remember how we started last year. To get off to a strong start in this league is crucial. To pick up points away from home is crucial.
The Flash ended the game with four total shots, two from Vicky and one each from Taylor and Carli Lloyd. Williams made two saves en route to her first win in the NWSL.
The Flash will continue its season-opening road trip on Saturday when it travels to face the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park. The 6 p.m. ET game will be aired live on YouTube and will be played immediately following the Chicago Fires game against the New England Revolution.