Houston Dash Force Draw Versus WNY Flash at Rochester Rhinos Stadium
WNY Flash and the Houston Dash close out a 2-2 draw on Saturday night as the New York club pulls within two points of second-place Portland Thorns. The match marked the Flash’s last home game of the 2016 season finishing with a 6-3-1 home record at Rochester Rhinos Stadium.
NWSL Soccer News: The Western New York Flash (8-5-3) entered Saturday night’s match looking to put some distance between themselves and the fourth-place Chicago Red Stars as the playoffs draw closer. To do so, they would need to defeat the Houston Dash (3-8-4) at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, NY. Despite fighting back from two one-goal deficits, the Flash could not muster a win at home, playing to a 2-2 draw in front of 6,449 fans.
The game began with the Flash wasting little time in getting started. In the first minute of play, Lynn Williams put one just over the crossbar, just missing on the first chance of the night. Williams led two other golden opportunities in the fourth and sixth minutes of play, but the Flash could not convert on either opportunity. The first came as Williams crossed a ball to Jessica McDonald whose diving attempt just missed. Then, Williams took advantage of a nice feed from Samantha Mewis, but watched as her low shot was corralled by Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
Despite the constant pressure, it was Houston that struck first in the 28th minute. Janine Beckie fed a ball to Denise O’Sullivan, who finished her shot to give the visitors an early advantage. The Houston lead would not last long, however, as Western New York drew even in the 36’ when Lianne Sanderson was able to power a shot past Williams for the equalizer. The goal came as McDonald dummied a ball that came from the foot of Lynn Williams, allowing Sanderson to gain possession and notch her third goal in a Flash uniform.
The Flash registered the first good scoring chance of the second frame. The 51’ saw Mewis label a shot on goal that was stopped by the Dash’s netminder. Lynn Williams followed the rebound with a blast that went just wide of the net. Meanwhile, at the other end of the field, the Dash responded by taking the lead when Houston Captain Kealia Ohai took a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that bent around D’Angelo into the side netting.
The Flash responded moments later, again drawing even, this time in the 58’. The goal was tallied by Makenzy Doniak, who finished a beautiful pass across the goalmouth from Lynn Williams to draw the score at 2-2. The tally was Doniak’s third of the season, and also of her career. The Dash nearly took the lead yet again just four minutes later when Poliana crossed a perfectly-placed ball to the feet of Ohai, whose point-blank shot was swallowed up by D’Angelo to keep the game tied.
With just over eight minutes remaining in the match, the Flash nearly tallied the go-ahead goal. After gaining control in the box, Taylor Smith’s shot rang off the top right corner of the frame. Smith’s opportunity was as close the Flash would get to three points as the match would end in a draw.
The match was the Flash’s last home contest of the season, bringing the season’s home record to 6-3-1. The match benefitted the Cancer Couch Foundation, a non-profit that will fund research for Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer and start a local fund at Strong Memorial Hospital for metastatic breast cancer patients. By raffling off a record-setting number of items – including game-worn player jerseys – the Western New York Flash were able to raise over $10,000 for the Cancer Couch Foundation.
With the tie, coupled with a Portland loss earlier in the afternoon, the Flash pull to within two points of the second-place Thorns with four matches remaining. Western New York will be in action again a week from tonight as they travel to take on the first place Washington Spirit on Saturday, September 3. Kickoff for the match is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Source/Photo Credit: Western New York Flash