WNY Flash win 2016 NWSL title, edging Washington Spirit on PKs
HOUSTON (via NWSL) – The Western New York Flash are the 2016 NWSL champions.
Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo made three penalty-kick saves — denying Ali Krieger, Tori Huster and Diana Matheson — to propel her team to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Spirit in the first PK shootout in league history, following a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes of tense action.
In a game of big moments from a pair of NWSL MVPs, Spirit forward and 2015 MVP Crystal Dunn turned in a two-goal performance — handing her team the lead with the opening goal of the match in the 9th minute as well as in the first minute of extra time.
But as Western New York had so many times this season, the Flash fought their way back into a match in which they’d fallen behind. With coach Paul Riley watching from the stands as he served a suspension after being ejected from the semifinals, midfielder Samantha Mewis levelled the match in the 14th minute — and forward Lynn Williams netted the game-tying goal in the fourth minute of added time in extra time, just seconds before the final whistle.
The two goals were the 10th and 11th times in 2016 that Western New York recovered from a deficit to tie the game.
The Flash become the first No. 4 seed to win the NWSL Championship, after they sealed their place in 2016 postseason with a win in their final game of the regular season that snapped a seven-game winless streak.
Flash 2, Spirit 2 (Shootout: Flash 3, Spirit 2)
Match: Washington Spirit (12-5-3, 39 pts) vs. Western New York Flash (9-6-5, 32 pts)
Date: Oct. 9, 2016
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium
Kickoff: 4:10 p.m. CT
Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy
|Western New York Flash||1||0||1||2||(3)|
WAS – Crystal Dunn (Megan Oyster) 9′
WNY – Samantha Mewis (Lynn Williams) 14′
WAS – Crystal Dunn (Ali Krieger) 91′
WNY – Lynn Williams (Jessica McDonald) 124+’
WNY – Abby Dahlkemper (goal)
WAS – Ali Krieger (save)
WNY – Jaelene Hinkle (goal)
WAS – Christine Nairn (goal)
WNY – Jess McDonald (miss)
WAS – Katie Stengel (goal)
WNY – Lynn Williams (goal)
WAS – Tori Huster (save)
WNY – Sam Mewis (save)
WAS – Diana Matheson (save)
Washington Spirit: Kelsey Wys, Ali Krieger, Megan Oyster, Shelina Zadorsky, Caprice Dydasco (Alyssa Kleiner 22′), Whitney Church, Christine Nairn, Victoria Huster, Estefania Banini (Diana Matheson 80′), Francisca Ordega (Katie Stengel 112′), Crystal Dunn
Substitutes Not Used: Stephanie Labbe, Estelle Johnson, Joanna Lohman, Cheyna Williams
Western New York Flash: Sabrina D’Angelo, Elizabeth Eddy, Abby Dahlkemper, Alanna Kennedy, Jaelene Hinkle, Makenzy Doniak (Taylor Smith 80′), Samantha Mewis, Abby Erceg, McCall Zerboni (Kristen Hamilton 106′), Jessica McDonald, Lynn Williams
Substitutes Not Used: Britt Eckerstrom, Courtney Niemiec, Michaela Hahn, Janice Cayman, Meredith Speck
Stats Summary: WAS/WNY
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 15 / 16
Offsides: 12 / 2
WNY – McCall Zerboni (Yellow) 84′
WAS – Kelsey Wys (Yellow) 122+’
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Francisco Bermudez
Most Valuable Player:
Western New York Flash Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo