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06/08/2014 11:59 AM -

On Saturday night, the Western New York Flash displayed a record-setting performance, downing Portland Thorns FC 5-0 to end a five-game winless streak in style. The Flash, who entered the game not having won since May 11, were led by braces from Samantha Kerr and Carli Lloyd and a goal from McCall Zerboni.

Paired with the strong offensive showing, the Flash posted one of their best defensive performances of the season, as goalkeeper Lydia Williams picked up the first shutout of her NWSL career. It was also the second shutout for the Flash this season.

With the Flash ahead 4-0 after the first half, Williams made key saves on both sides of the break, including multiple late against Thorns forward Alex Morgan who made her 2014 debut in the match.

With five goals in the game, the Flash tied an NWSL record that was set last year by the Boston Breakers. However, the clean slate ensured the largest margin of victory in NWSL history. It was the first time the Flash have ever scored five goals in NWSL play, and also the most goals conceded by the defending Champion Thorns.

It was Zerboni who opened the scoring, picking up her second goal against the Thorns this season. Off a Vicky Losada corner kick just 11 minutes in, Zerboni collected a header from Lloyd and used her heel to flick the ball past Nadine Angerer.

However, the Thorns would have to play without Angerer, and an 11th player, for much of the game after the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year received a red card in the 27th minute. The booking was drawn when Kerr raced down a weak back pass from Nikki Marshall and carried the ball into the box. Angerer’s challenge was deemed card-worthy, ultimately being shown a red.

Backup goalkeeper Michelle Betos entered for the host Thorns, but Lloyd buried the penalty kick to put Western New York up 2-0.

Shortly after Lloyd's goal, Betos came up with a spectacular save on the midfielder. After a yellow card to Emily Menges, Lloyd bent a kick around the wall that Betos punched away in the upper 90. But, that ball went out for a Flash corner, and the Flash was able to capitalize on the ensuing set piece.

From the left side, Losada sent in a ball to the far post that Kerr headed on net. Though her first attempt hit the near post, the ball came right back to her and she easily headed it into the open net to put the visitors up 3-0.

Kerr completed her brace before the first half even ended, scoring her second of the match in first half injury time. The Australian and teammate Jasmyne Spencer were able to pass between three Thorns defenders, with Kerr ultimately finishing the transaction with a goal.

Lloyd found her second of the match six minutes into the second 45, capitalizing on a smooth feed from Kerr. With a triangle of players in front of her, Kerr was able to draw all three Thorns defenders and found Lloyd open at the top of the box.  The U.S. National Team midfielder was able to take a touch into the penalty area and blast the game’s final goal past Betos.

The Flash set the tone of the game early on, with Spencer nearly scoring in the second minute. Off a long boot from defender Brittany Taylor, the speedy forward was able to get an opportunity at Angerer, but her shot went wide.

Saturday’s game marked the second start of the season for the University of Maryland product, getting the nod with forward Abby Wambach out with an LCL sprain.  Spencer, along with her counterpart Kerr, caused much havoc for the Thorns backline as the pair combined for seven shots in the game.

Though the scoreboard pointed in the Flash’s favor, Portland created numerous scoring opportunities through the 90 minutes but could not find a way past Williams and the Flash defensive corps.

Veronica Boquete found Jessica McDonald open on the left flank in the 20th minute and, with speed, tried to find Christine Sinclair in the middle but Kat Williamson was able to step into the pass, denying Sinclair a one-on-one with Williams.  In addition to Morgan, Boquete and Stephanie Catley also saw their NWSL debuts spoiled by the Flash on Saturday.

Williams denied Sinclair minutes before the half, after the Thorns' captain was able to muscle past Taylor. However, the Flash goalkeeper stepped up and deflected Sinclair's shot enough to send it out of play.

The Australian-American goalkeeper came up with a few more saves on Morgan late in the game, tipping away point-blank chances in the 75th and 87th minutes.  Williams finished with six saves in the game.

Portland appeared to have Williams beat on a 64th-minute corner but defender Kristen Edmonds was in position to head away Sinclair’s effort at the goal line.

The two teams combined for a total of 38 shots in the game, with 21 in favor of the visiting Flash. Lloyd paced the way with seven attempts, three of them on goal.

The Flash will wrap up a three-game road trip on Wednesday when the team travels to Houston for the first time this season. The Dash defeated the Flash 2-1 in their first meeting on May 31.

Western New York returns to Sahlen’s Stadium on June 18, a match that begins a span that sees seven of eight games played in Rochester. Tickets for Flash home games are available at wnyflash.com or by phone at (585) 454-KICK.


1 2 F
Western New York (4-5-2)  4  1  5
Portland Thorns FC (4-4-2)  0  0



Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 11 Western New York  McCall Zerboni

Carli Lloyd

2 28 Western New York Carli Lloyd  (PK)
3 32 Western New York Samantha Kerr  
4 47+ Western New York Samantha Kerr

Jasmyne Spencer

5 51 Western New York Carli Lloyd

Samantha Kerr

Cautions  and Ejections        
Time Team ## Player Card Reason
5 Western New York 13 Brittany Taylor Yellow Card Reckless Foul
23 Portland 7 Nikki Marshall Yellow Card Reckless Foul
27 Portland 1 Nadine Angerer Red Card Reckless Foul
31 Portland 21 Emily Menges Yellow Card Reckless Foul


Time Team Out In
28 Portland

#25 Courtney Niemiec

#18 Michelle Betos
46 Portland #24 Sinead Farrelly #16 Rachel Van Hollebeke
66 Portland #7 Nikki Marshal #6 Meleana Shim
66 Western New York #15 Jasmyne Spencer #11 Adriana Martin
75 Western New York #14 Vicky Losada #3 Courtney Wetzel
84 Western New York #4 Samantha Kerr  #8 Sonia Bermudez


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