October 2, 2016
Flash advance to final with OT win over Thorns
WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH 4, PORTLAND THORNS 3, OT
PORTLAND, OR ---,Lynn Williams scored two goals in the first period of extra time to give the Western New York Flash a 4-3 win in an NWSL semi-final game played in front of 20,086 at Providence Park Sunday.
The Flash will face the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Championship game at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston next Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 5:00 ET and will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1.
Western New York opened the scoring in the 16th minute when midfielder Sam Mewis hit a left-footed volley from inside the penalty area that made its way into the back of the net. The Flash doubled their lead in the 38th minute when midfielder Makenzy Doniak got on the end of forward Jessica McDonald’s cross and headed the ball past Betos at her near post.
Thorns FC got on the board in the 39th minute when defender Katherine Reynolds played a long ball to forward Christine Sinclair at the edge of the penalty area. Letting the ball take a bounce, Sinclair struck a right-footed volley that was rifled into the lower left corner of the net past Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo.
Thorns FC equalized in the 78th minute from a free kick. Midfielder Tobin Heath delivered a ball from 30 yards out into the penalty area, where D’Angelo punched the ball into a crowd of players. The ball fell to Sinclair, whose right-footed shot was cleared off the line by a Flash defender and the ensuing rebound was tucked into the back of the net by defender Emily Sonnett.
Portland nearly took the lead in the 80th minute when midfielder Amandine Henry slipped in second-half substitute Dagny Brynjarsdottir in behind the Western New York defense on the right edge of the penalty area. The Icelandic international took a touch and fired a low-angled shot that forced D’Angelo into a kick save.
Heading into extra time, the Flash took a 3-2 lead in the 98th minute when Williams pounced on a loose ball inside the box and slotted past Thorns goalkeeper Michelle Betos, who finished the match with six saves. Portland nearly scored two minutes later when Brynjarsdottir found space on the right wing and picked out midfielder Lindsey Horan at the top of the box. Horan took a touch and fired a shot that struck the top of the crossbar in the 101st minute.
Western New York scored the game-winning goal in the 104th minute when Williams got on the end of Mewis’ through ball and finished her shot into the back of the net from a counter-attacking play.