Western New York Flash vs. Sky Blue: Final Score 2-1, WNYF wants a spot in the playoffs

The Flash played smart, not hard. They took a 2-0 lead within the first 19 minutes but took their foot off the gas in the second half allowing Sky Blue to see more of the ball. The Sky Blue has a dilemma, their defense needs Kelley O'Hara but their front line takes a nose dive without O'Hara as well.

If the vampires on True Blood played soccer, they would be the version of the Western New York Flash that turned up today. They had tunnel vision; solely focused on the ball. They connected passes effortlessly and it allowed them to gain a 2-0 lead over Sky Blue within 19 minutes with goals from Adriana and Abby Wambach. Sophie Schmidt provided a glimmer of hope for Sky Blue in the 44th minute but it was not enough as the Flash prevented Sky Blue from finding the back of the net again.

The Flash placed more bodies and pressure into the SBFC end from the start, which required Sky Blue defenders and midfielders to keep a one touch pass routine as the Flash chased and cut down their lines of communication. Lisa De Vanna attempted to penetrate the Flash midfield but was denied access into the box but this did not stop her from shipping a strike towards the upper corner of the net. Unfortunately, AD Franch was there pick up the ball.

In the 8th minute the Flash recorded their first goal. Samantha Kerr climbed up the flank to slide a cross into Adriana waiting in front of GK Brittany Cameron. Adrianna directed the ball into the bottom corner and Cameron was unable to get a hand on it.

SBFC crumbled after the Flash took the lead. Kendall Johnson and Coco Goodson made silly fouls, frustrated that their team was trailing for the first time in their NWSL career. Sky Blue is not used to falling behind, and not this early in a game, and it was showing as they seemed to be playing with neither energy nor grace. Kelley O'Hara and De Vanna were the only solid performers for the final third in the first 44 minutes until an uplifting strike into the back of the net by Schmidt occurred moments before the half concluded. Throughout the first half, O'Hara and De Vanna attempted to push into the center of the box but the Flash defense was on their tail blocking any attempts.

Schmidt's goal wasn't the leveller. The Flash weren't content with just one goal. The 17th minute saw a close call after a scramble in the box, but two minutes later Abby Wambach get her home debut goal, sending a shot soaring past Cameron after a cross from Kerr. Kerr nearly turned goalscorer at the close of the half, but her effort following a rebounded Wambach shot was ruled out for offside.

The SBFC defense was a disappointment and the biggest mistake head coach Jim Gabarra made going into the second half was not replacing Johnson. Her first half performance was abysmal, she should have shut down her markers but she let them keep the ball alive resulting in the Flash finding the inside of the box. It was obvious after Johnson collided with Schmidt that she should have been subbed out. Kerr nearly capitalized on another silly mistake by the defence, picking up a backpass that was nowhere near Cameron but hitting the crossbar.

Sky Blue came out with far greater intensity in the second half, mostly thanks to O'Hara, De Vanna, Katy Freels, Caitlin Foord and Schmidt. In the 65th minute Jim Gabarra made a tactical move, pushing O'Hara into the left back position, replacing Johnson and introducing Monica Ocampo into the front line. In the 67th minute De Vanna had a golden opportunity 12 yards out to score but couldn't capitalize. And Sky Blue almost found the back of the net off a corner kick in the 58th minute when Freels on target shot was blocked by Franch in the box.

Just as Ocampo was a great breath of fresh air for the front line, so was O'Hara for the back as she made four great blocks in the second half. O'Hara cut out a perfect cross into the box from Zerboni to Wambach in the 75th minute, and repeated the feat shortly thereafter to prevent Wambach from slotting into an unguarded net.

In the 78th minute Ocampo took a delayed tumble outside the 18 yard box to gift SBFC with a free kick. O'Hara put an on-target strike but Franch was there yet again to block. In the final minutes of play the game saw an interesting twist as O'Hara was taken down in the box, but no call was made. That would prove to be SBFC's last chance. The Flash had stepped up their game overnight and it proved fruitful for they come away with their first ever win.

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