NWSL Week 19: Season Ends and Four Teams Look to Playoffs
NWSL Week 19: Season Ends and Four Teams Look to Playoffs avatar

WNY Flash to Host Playoff Game at Sahlen’s Stadium

WNY Flash got the big win they needed to host a playoff game, defeating Boston Breakers 2-1 in Rochester, NY on Saturday.

Wambach put in another solid performance.(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Wambach put in another solid performance.(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

The Flash was rallying for a win from the very beginning, taking the lead in the 23rd minute with a goal from forward Samantha Kerr. Abby Wambach was on the assist, heading the ball to Kerr who finished the play with a nice goal to the right side of the net.

It was only a few minutes later that Wambach added to that lead, and of course, it was a strong header that tallied the winner.

Boston looked to catch up, but Flash defense played their part well for the remainder. It wasn’t until the 54th minute that Boston was able to cut through the seemingly impenetrable Flash back line. Defender Rhian Wilkinson made a first attempt strike, but was denied by midfielder Angela Salem. Wilkinson was ready for the rebound and wasn’t about to give up- she countered back fiercely, and the goal was solid, putting Boston on the board 2-1.

With the win, the Flash have their sights set on Saturday’s semifinal, where they will take on Sky Blue FC at home.

Scoring Summary

  • WNY- Kerr (Wambach) 23’
  • WNY- Wambach (Taylor) 28’
  • BOS- Wilkinson 55’

Sinclair Leads Thorns to Semis with Spectacular Brace

Sinclair provided the winning brace for the Thorns(ISI Photos/J. Adam Fenster)

Sinclair provided the winning brace for the Thorns(ISI Photos/J. Adam Fenster)

Christine Sinclair was the Thorns shining beacon this past Saturday, leading her team to a 2-1 win over Seattle Reign in Tukwila, WA.

Megan Rapinoe got Seattle on the board immediately in the third minute to get the competitive juices flowing, but Sinclair was there to battle back with the equalizer just five minutes later. Midfielder Allie Long blasted a through ball down the field and Sinclair nimbly played it in past Reign defense, taking goalkeeper Hope Solo head on, and beating her to the punch.

Both teams would sit at a 1-1 stalemate throughout the first and second half, begging the question of who would be able to score? Sinclair stepped up heroically once again, with only a few minutes remaining in the game. She took matters into her own hands, outrunning the determined opposition and slamming the ball inside the far left post for the winning goal. With the win, the Thorns will play FC Kansas City in the semis, and Sinclair became the only Thorns player to tally two braces this season.

Scoring Summary

  • SEA- Rapinoe 3’
  • POR- Sinclair (Long) 8’
  • POR- Sincalir (Weimer) 83’

Red Stars Upset Kansas City with Jen Hoy Brace

FC Kansas City took a surprising tumble Sunday, losing to the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in Overland Park, KS.

No matter though, because the Blues have everything need as they host a playoff game against the Portland Thorns as the second seed in the post-season.

Forward Courtney Jones scored the lone Kansas City goal in the first half, to give Kansas City the initial lead, but it was Red Stars forward Jen Hoy who would steal the show in the second half. She scored a brace to pull her team ahead and ultimately win the match, with the final goal scored in the stoppage time, preventing Kansas City from equalizing.

Scoring Summary

  • KAN- Jones (Tymrak) 20’
  • CHI- Hoy (Grings) 45’
  • CHI- Hoy (Sitch) 92+
Sky Blue FC is ready for some semi final action  (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Sky Blue FC is ready for some semi final action (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit Wrap Up Regular Season with a Draw

Sky Blue FC took on an aggressive Washington Spirit Sunday in Boyds, MD, ending the match in a 1-1 draw.

Both teams tried to muster a goal throughout the first half and the scoreless stalemate would be broken in the 40th minute by forward Stephanie Ochs to put Washington in the lead. Midfielder Teresa Worbis spotted a wide open Ochs from the right side of the penalty box, made the pass, and the ball was in the net quick as can be.

As the second half progressed, it was beginning to look like Spirit had the game in the bag, but Sky Blue pulled out the equalizer in the 84th minute. Midfielder Taylor Lytle collected a bouncing pass from forward Monica Ocampo, and fired the ball in for the 1-1 result.

“Washington played a very disciplined game, packing it in on the defensive end very well,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra told NWSL. “We have had success against them this season, but it is always hard to beat a team four times in one season. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, because we are now going to Western New York next week and have lost three in a row to them.”

Scoring Summary

  • WASH- Ochs (Worbis) 40’
  • SBFC- Lytle 84’

League Standings- Final Week of Regular Season

# NWSL GP W L T PTS
1. WNY Flash 22 10 4 8 38
2. FC Kansas City 22 11 6 5 38
3. Portland Thorns FC 22 11 6 5 38
4. Sky Blue FC 22 10 6 6 36
5. Boston Breakers 22 8 8 6 30
6. Chicago Red Stars 22 8 8 6 30
7. Seattle Reign FC 22 5 14 3 18
8. Washington Spirit 22 3 14 5 14

About Courtney Lambert

A competitive athlete in her college days, Courtney writes on events happening at state and local level. She has previous experience covering news and writing for the Jacksonville Times Union and graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in journalism.
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