The Western New York Flash got back into the win column in Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League action on Saturday, June 9, as they defeated the New England Mutiny 3-1 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The win raised Flash’s record to 2-2-1 with a +3 goal differential compared to Mutiny’s 2-2-1 and -3, moving WNY just ahead in the standings to fourth.
In an end-to-end match that saw numerous chances for both sides, Mutiny put early pressure on the hosts. In the seventh minute Becca Mays attempted to head in a free kick but missed just wide. Eventually it was Flash who struck first at the 23-minute mark when Katy Frierson fought off defenders with a "Maradona-inspired turn" and floated a shot over New England goalkeeper Vikki Alonzo.
“I thought I was in a bad situation and tried to get out of it,” Frierson said about the move. “It feels great to score for the team.”
It marked the fourth time in five matches that New England had surrendered the first goal, although not for lack of goal tending ability. Minutes earlier Alonzo had denied WNY’s Omolyn Davis and Tori Huster on dangerous attacks, but was unable to stop Frierson’s shot.
New England returned to the attack, with Mays again missing on a header just over the crossbar. Flash then put together another run which ended when Davis crossed the ball from the right flank. After a scramble in front of the goal Spanish international Adriana collected the ball and passed to McCall Zerboni in the box who beat Alonzo for a 2-0 WNY lead at 31 minutes. Zerboni nearly picked up a second goal minutes later but Alonzo tipped it away.
The second half began with Davis going in alone against Alonzo, but her shot went wide. At the Flash end, Kate Howarth fired on goal from the top of the box but keeper Allison Lipsher made the save. Over the next several minutes both teams ran several substitutions to keep fresh legs on the pitch, with no major action. Finally in the 75th minute Emily Van Egmond headed in the third Flash goal, with the assist going to Stephanie Ochs.
New England finally cracked the goal mouth at the 81-minute mark when Mays lofted the ball in over the defense from the right flank. Howarth took advantage of some defensive miscommunication, beat Flash’s Tori Pressley and slipped the shot past Lipsher for the lone Mutiny goal.
WNY head coach Aaran Lines was pleased with his team's efforts on the night and with the three points they earned. "It was a good performance," he said.
Team captain Zerboni was also happy about the outcome of the game, with several important games coming up. "We're going into Wednesday with good momentum," she said.
WNY Flash will return to action when they host Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday, June 13. New England Mutiny next play on the road on Thursday, June 14, against FC Indiana.
WNY: Frierson 23’
WNY: Zerboni 31’
WNY: Van Egmond 75’
NEM: Howarth 81’
What are your views? Leave your comments below