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08/08/2013 10:48 AM -

With her fourth goal in as many games, Carli Lloyd lifted the Western New York Flash to a 1-0 victory on Wednesday night against the Seattle Reign FC.  Lloyd’s strike was the lone goal of the game as the Flash defense posted yet another clean slate to earn an important three points for Western New York at Sahlen’s Stadium in front of 4,993 fans. 

The Flash are now tied for second place in the National Women’s Soccer League with Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC and face the Thorns on Saturday in a game that will be crucial for the playoff picture.

The win was critical for Western New York, who now have secured a playoff spot.  With three points on Wednesday, paired with a Chicago Red Stars loss, the Flash will be in the postseason.

Lloyd broke the tie in the 53rd minute when she beat Hope Solo after a well-paced ball from Wambach.  Driving hard down the middle of the field, Lloyd passed over to Wambach who was able to hold at the line to avoid going offsides.  After receiving the ball, Wambach chipped over the defensive line and Lloyd was able to continue her route to the cage.  Solo had to come off her line with the one-on-one situation and Lloyd beat the keeper high to the right corner.

The Flash posted nine shots in both halves, with Lloyd nearly striking 13 minutes in. The Reign got trapped in their own 18-yard box, passing the ball between Solo and her outside defenders.  However, a weak back pass to Solo from Kaylyn Kyle forced the goalkeeper to quickly release the ball.  That short clear went to Lloyd 20 yards out who, although she was able to trap down, could not hit the shot on target.

Lloyd’s eighth goal of the season sparked the home team who came up with a series of scoring chances after the deadlock was broken. 

In the 30th minute Lloyd was looking again but she was denied by the crossbar.  The Flash were unlucky with the bar numerous times, but the one goal was all they would need.

The Flash nearly made it a two-goal advantage in the 61st minute but Solo came up with a fingertip save on Adriana’s shot, deflecting the ball off the crossbar.  Samantha Kerr tested the keeper on the next offensive set, but her shot sailed high.  The Australian led all players with six shots, while Solo would finish the game with eight saves.

With the ball remaining in the Flash’s offensive third, the team was again denied by the bar when Zerboni attempted midway through the second half.

In the 28th minute defender Brittany Taylor drove a long ball that had eyes for Wambach alone in the middle of the box but the forward could not connect.  Seconds later the Reign answered with their first true chance of the half when Kyle sent Christine Nairn alone on Franch.  The forward’s chip attempt went to the wide left with Megan Rapinoe unable to find the rebound.

The Reign were not short on chances, with Franch makes four key stops in the game.  At the 34-minute mark Liz Bogus cut inside on Sarah Huffman but was bumped by Estelle Johnson when trying to pass over to Rapinoe.  However, after a scramble with Katherine Reynolds, Rapinoe found the ball 12 yards out, alone with Franch.  The USWNT midfielder took a quick strike but the Flash goalkeeper came up with a huge, close-range save to keep the game scoreless drawing a loud cheer from the home crowd.

Five minutes later the visitors drew three corners in a row, putting pressure on the Flash.  The first was a hectic play with the ball spending some time in the box before Kate Deines was able to make contact with a shot that hit the crossbar before going out for corner number two.  On that one, Rapinoe went to the right side and went for the olympico but Franch was able to punch it away.  The surge ended when the Flash cleared the third from danger.

Minutes into the second half the Reign became dangerous on the corner again with Rapinoe  sending an inswinger that was punched by Franch, who fell on the save.  With the keeper down, Kyle headed the ball toward the open net but Huffman came to the rescue with a clear just inches from scoring.

Seattle's final chance came with just seconds to play in the game when Jessica McDonald went just above the crossbar in the waining seconds of injury time, but the home team was able to hold on for the win.

The Flash and Reign end the year 1-1-1, with the Flash improving to 7-1-1 at home and 9-4-7 (34 points) on the year.  Seattle, who has already been eliminated from playoff contention, falls to 5-12-3 (18 points) overall.

With her seventh assist of the year, Wambach moves into a tie for second place with Boston’s Lianne Sanderson.

The Flash finish a four-game in 11-day stretch on Saturday when they host the Portland Thorns FC at 7:35 p.m.





1 2 F
Seattle (5-12-3) 0 0 0
Western New York (9-4-7) 0 1



Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
1 54 Western New York Carli Lloyd Abby Wambach
Cautions and Ejections        
Time Team ## Player Card Reason


Time Team Out In
55 Seattle #20 Emily Van Egmond #22 Jessica McDonald
64 Seattle #9 Stephanie Cox #25 Kiersten Dallstream
64 Western New York #4 Samantha Kerr #15 Vicki DiMartino
67 Seattle #4 Kate Deines #17 Keelin Winters
78 Western New York #8 Adriana Martin #9 Ingrid Wells
  Western New York #7 McCall Zerboni #17 Veronica Perez


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