Sky Blue FC could not overcome three early goals by Western New York and fell to the Flash 5-2 Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
Western New York jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the 6th minute, making good on a corner kick off the foot of defender Jaelene Hinkle. She put a well-struck ball at the mouth of the frame, where forward Jessica McDonald went up and redirected a header towards the goal.
The Flash extended their lead to two goals in the 19th minute, again off a set piece situation. Taking a free kick on the right flank was Hinkle, who delivered a lofting ball towards the far post, where Sky Blue FC midfielder Nikki Stanton attempted to head the ball out of danger. Her try drifted high and came down in front of the area, where midfielder Samantha Mewis was waiting to head the ball home and push the count to 2-0
In the 23rd minute, Western New York made it 3-0 on a scoring play that started with Mewis in the center of the field. She raced to her right before sending a hard roller to forward Makenzy Doniak on the flank, who then delivered a cross that resulted in a Lynn Williams finish.
“The credit tonight must go to Western New York,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “They executed their game plan well and punished us for our complacency. The second half was closer to what would be considered acceptable for our standards, but we must be much better than what we showed tonight. We will now sit down and analyze the game to make sure that this type of performance never happens again.”
Just before the intermission, Western New York increased its lead to four goals on a series that began off another Hinkle corner kick. The ball was knocked around dangerously inside the area before McDonald was there for a rebound off the post, striking away her second notch of the opening half to make it 4-0 in favor of the home club.
At the half, Holly made a substitution that brought British striker and Hofstra University graduate Leah Galton onto the field for her professional debut. In the 54th minute, she moved around with the ball on the right flank before sending a hard roller to O’Hara on top of the box. The U.S. international then took a couple touches inside to create some space before rifling a curler that found the back netting behind Western New York goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo to put up a 4-1 scoreline.
In the 60th minute, the Flash responded on a long ball that eventually landed at the feet of a racing Michaela Hahn on the left side of the area. After collecting the feed, she fired a shot that hit top shelf and returned it to being a four-tally contest again.
Sky Blue FC made it a 5-2 mark in the 85th minute after the team was awarded a penalty kick, following a tackle by forward Taylor Smith on O’Hara inside the area. On the ensuing try, midfielder Sarah Killion stepped over the spot and calmly inserted her attempt inside the right post for the final goal of the match.
With the result this evening, the Flash completed the season sweep of Sky Blue FC. It also brought the conclusion to a six-game unbeaten streak for the New Jersey club.