04/07/2013 10:22 AM
The Western New York Flash played their fourth and final preseason game at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester on Sunday, earning a 2-1 victory over reigning NCAA National Champions, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The Flash came back from a one-goal deficit, winning the game in the final ten minutes.
"Obviously today, I think, was our toughest test of the preseason," said defender Alex Sahlen. "We came out and we were just finding our feet on the field. We haven't trained (at Sahlen's Stadium) or played here this season yet. It's been a long preseason. We've worked really hard and we're pretty tired, but we wanted to come out and have a good result."
The first 45 minutes of the game remained scoreless with both teams showing solid performances. The Tar Heels did well to keep the Flash's advances at bay, only allowing the Flash to get one shot on goal, which was saved by UNC goalkeeper Anna Sieloff. Flash goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar saw little action in the first half, as UNC had no shots on goal.
UNC opened up scoring in the second half with a Megan Brigman goal in the 60th minute. Brigman headed the ball into the net off a corner kick from Paige Nielsen. The Tar Heels then did well defensively to keep the Flash contained.
Samantha Kerr's equalizer came in the 82nd minute, assisted by Veronica Perez. The Mexican international served the ball up to the Australian, who squeaked past two UNC defenders and put the ball low into the right corner of the net. Kerr picked up an assist five minutes later on Adriana's game-winning goal. The Spanish international received the ball from Kerr and took a left-footed shot from outside the box, rocketing the ball into the upper left corner of the goal in the 87th minute, leading the Flash to a victory.
"I think this will really help us in the future with our season," said defender Katherine Reynolds. "If we're ever down a goal, we'll know what it feels like to come back, and what it feels like to be down, and what we need to do to be able to get the win."
The game was highly physical and saw two UNC players get yellow cards. The first came in the 20th minute when Brigman was booked for a foul on Sahlen. The second was given to Hanna Gardner in the 85th minute for a tackle on Adriana.
With preseason over, the WNY Flash will be kicking off regular season play with two road games. The Flash play at Sky Blue FC on Sunday, April 14 and at Washington Spirit on Saturday, April 20 before returning to Sahlen's Stadium for the home opener on Saturday, April 27 against the Boston Breakers. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling 585-454-KICK.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
WNY 0 2 2
UNC 0 1 1
WNY: McCall Zerboni, Pamela Tajonar, Alex Sahlen, Bryanna McCarthy (Katherine Reynolds 45), Samantha Kerr, Angela Salem (Kim Yokers 65), Adriana, Estelle Johnson, Brittany Taylor, Vicki DiMartino, Veronica Perez
Head Coach: Aaran Lines
UNC: Anna Sieloff, Caitlin Ball, Megan Brigman, Kealia Ohai, Kat Nigro, Kelly McFarlane (Michelle Clemente 80), Reilly Parker, Katie Bowel, Satara Murray, Hanna Gardner, Brooke Elby (Paige Nielsen 45, Bianca Gray 76)
Head Coach: Anson Dorrance
Megan Brigman - 20' Yellow Card
Hanna Gardner - 85' Yellow Card