(wnyflash.com)-Rochester, N.Y. (Sunday, July 21, 2013) - For the third time this season, theWestern New York Flash defeated Sky Blue FC, this time to the tune of a 3-0 decision in front of 4,664 fans at Sahlen's Stadium. It was the second-consecutive time the Flash have bested the NWSL's top team by a 3-0 score, last winning on June 8th in New Jersey.
Sunday's game also marked the second NWSL game aired live on Fox Soccer Channel. Western New York's August 17th meeting with Boston will also be broadcasted from Sahlen's Stadium.
With the three points, the Flash (7-4-6, 27 points) move into third place in the NWSL, holding the tie-break advantage (goal differential) over the Portland Thorns. Sky Blue (9-4-4, 31 points) remains in first place but is just two-points ahead of second seeded FC Kansas City.
The Flash got on the board 13 minutes in the game with a connection between U.S. Women's National Team teammates Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd. After midfielder Angela Salem intercepted a pass in the center of the pitch, she sent a throughball to Wambach who was able to sneak behind the Sky Blue defense. Judged onsides by the official, Wambach received pressure Sky Blue goalkeeper Jill Loyden and, choosing not to shoot, crossed to Lloyd who was able to fire into the empty net.
The home team was able to double its lead before the half came to a close when defender Brittany Taylor put in her third goal of the year, capitalizing on one of the Flash's six corner kicks.
From the left flag, Sarah Huffman sent a floating ball to the top of the 18-yard box that was headed towards net by Wambach. Flash captain McCall Zerboni aided the effort with her foot, but her redirect wet off the left post and back into the box. Taylor, however, was waiting for the rebound and made the game 2-0.
Wambach, who leads the league with 10 goals, picked up her second helper of the contest in the second half when she connected with Australian international Samantha Kerr. In a play very similar to the first score, Wambach was sent down the right side on a pass from Huffman. With Loyden committing to the forward, the Rochester native sent a pass across the goalmouth to Kerr who was uncontested on the shot.
Kerr wrecked much havoc on the left side during Sunday's game, nearly tallying six minutes in. Salem, again, was able to thread a well-time ball behind the Sky Blue defensive line to the Matilda but her shot was struck wide right. Three minutes later, Taylor found Kerr, again on a run, but her cross to Wambach was off the mark.
The Flash also saw a strong performance from Huffman who forced Loyden to make multiple saves over the 90 minutes. With the game 1-0, Lloyd found Kerr in the box but the USWNT goalkeeper was able to punch it away. But, the ball came straight out to Huffman who took a shot low and to Loyden's opposite post. The keeper was able to cover the ground and kept the deficit at one with a sprawling stop.
Just minutes into the second leg, Huffman found herself again able to shoot on target but the ball was punched out of bounds for a corner. Loyden finished with seven saves in her debut with Sky Blue FC.
On the other side of the field, Flash goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made nine stops including a couple big saves to keep the visitors at zero. Twenty-nine minutes in, the Oklahoma State product denied a shot from former Flash player Brittany Bock who was set up by Danesha Adams.
In the second half, Franch came up with a diving save to deny Monica Ocampo on a header attempt. Ocampo found the end of Sophie Schmidt's cross, but was unable to put her team on the board.
With the three-goal clean slate, the Flash defense posted its fifth shutout of the season.
In a physical game that saw 14 fouls, the New Jersey team took a hit early when Lisa De Vanna was injured in the first half. The forward from Australia was subbed out just 19 minutes into play before teammate Caitlin Foord was also injured. Foord came out of the game at the 31-minute mark, bringing on Ocampo.
The Flash complete a short two-game home series on July 31st when the Washington Spirit come to Rochester for an 7:05 p.m. game.