The Western New York Flash dropped their home opener 3-0 on Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium to the undefeated Washington Spirit.
Diana Matheson scored twice for Washington, including the second goal on a second half penalty. Samantha Mewis banged an earlier penalty kick off the post for the Flash.
The Flash outshot the Spirit 16-7 and also had 11 corner kicks compared to Washington’s two. But the Spirit came away with the win after managing to score three goals.
The Spirit opened scoring in the fourth minute when a Crystal Dunn cross found Matheson early in the first half. The Flash showed resilience when shortly after Sam Mewis fired a long-ranged rocket that Labbe managed to tip over the bar for one of the many Western New York corner kicks.
The Flash came out in the second half hungry for an equalizer with another Mewis shot that sailed just over the crossbar int he 48th minute. Shortly after, the Spirit was called for a foul in the box after a tough collision.
Mewis, who at the time was the only player in the league to convert a penalty so far this season, stepped up to take the shot and hit the post. Only minutes later, forward Taylor Smith managed to do the same, as the Spirit maintained its narrow 1-0 lead.
In the 71st minute, the referee pointed to the spot again, this time against the Flash. Matheson put a shot right down the middle to beat her Canadian National teammate Sabrina D’Angelo to add to the score.
The final goal of the night came off a deflected free kick in the 81st minute when Flash defender Liz Eddy was shown a yellow card after a hard collision with Alyssa Kleiner. The Spirit managed to hold on in the final minutes to keep the 3-0 lead.
The Flash will be back in action as they travel to New Jersey for a matchup with Sky Blue FC. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th.