04/14/2013 10:24 AM
An own goal in the waning minutes of the first half proved to be the difference in the first game of the season for the Western New York Flash. Off a corner, Sky Blue FC’s CoCo Goodson sent a shot in that ricocheted off McCall Zerboni and into the Flash net. The 1-0 score would stand for the next 49 minutes, as Sky Blue shutout the Flash in both team’s NWSL opener.
The 41st minute goal was the only of the match, but there were still plenty of scoring chances on both sides of the ball.
The Western New York Flash controlled the majority of the first half, putting early pressure on the host Sky Blue FC. 15 minutes in, Veronica Perez was pulled down in the box, awarding a penalty kick to the Flash. Adriana stepped in to take the free kick, but Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron came away with the stop to keep the slate clean.
Just minutes later, Abby Wambach caught Cameron off her line and attempted to loft the ball over the head of the back-tracking keeper, but the shot rattled off the crossbar and away.
Rookie goalkeeper Adrianna Franch proved why she received a call-up to the US Women’s National Team, making a number of saves that kept her club in contention. In the second half, Franch denied speedy forward Lisa De Vanna on two attempts to add an insurance goal. Running with a defender at her side, the forward had a chance in the 59th minute with a hard strike that was swatted away by Franch’s effort to the left.
In the 71st minute De Vanna again slipped in between the Flash defense and received the ball in the middle of the box, but Franch dove right this time, punching the ball away.
Looking for the equalizer late in the game, WNY upped its offensive pressure but was unable to find the back of the net. Wambach had perhaps the best chance to do so in the final 30 seconds of stoppage time. Twelve yards out, the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year and Cameron were caught in a scramble for the ball and when the keeper couldn’t gain control, Wambach let loose on the empty net. However, the last-ditch effort sailed over the crossbar.
Jodi Ann Robinson, a 65th minute substitute for the Flash, generated a number of opportunities in her minutes starting with a right-footed shot in the 70th that was pulled in by Cameron.
At the 82’ mark, Wambach flicked a header to the foot of the Canadian international who looked for a one-timed volley, but she didn’t get the entirety of the ball and it was easily saved. Shortly after, a header attempt from Robinson sailed wide of the target.
The Flash will remain on the road for their second game of the season. The team will face the Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Maryland Sportsplex.