MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women's soccer team fell to the National Women's Soccer Leagues' (NWSL) Western New York Flash, 2-0, today in its spring opener in Elma, N.Y.
“Playing a professional team of the Western New York Flash's caliber was a great opportunity for us to learn and develop as a team this spring,” says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “I thought we did some really good things, and we also saw some areas that we need to focus on.”
Leading 1-0 with less than one minute remaining in the tilt, the Flash played the ball in from a corner kick. After a scramble to clear, defender Kadeisha Buchanan
was whistled for a foul at the top of the box. Midfielder Carli Lloyd capitalized on the free kick, recording her second goal of the game, placing the ball over the wall and inside the far post.
The Mountaineers engineered an early run at the 13-minute mark with a ball from defender Jess Crowder
to forward Kailey Utley
on the right side of the pitch, but the play was whistled offside.
The Flash struck in the 27th minute with Lloyd's first goal of the day, placed near post on Tennessee-transfer goalkeeper Hannah Steadman
, who started the match in net for WVU, from 21-yards out. Angela Salem was credited the assist on the play.
In the 38th minute, Flash defender Katherine Reynolds played a cross inside the18-yard box, but Buchanan, the 2013 Big 12 Conference Newcomer and Defender of the Year, spoiled the chance with a header out. Steadman followed the play with a save on a pursuing shot on net. She finished with six saves in the outing.
With the first half coming to a close, Utley nearly knotted the match with a deep run, but goalkeeper Lydia Williams left her goal line to tackle the ball away outside the box.
In the second half, Lloyd split two WVU defenders to take a shot at goalkeeper Michelle Newhouse
, who started the second half in net for the Mountaineers. The Pinch, W.Va., native made the stop after the ball was deflected by a defender. Lloyd kept firing though, garnering another scoring chance from point blank on a breakaway, but Newhouse came up big once again, keeping the deficit to 1-0. Newhouse finished the match with three saves.
Defender Cari Price
, who tallied four goals in 2013, attempted to tie the score with a shot from the side, but Reynolds came up with a block before it could make its way to the keeper. In the 75th minute, midfielder Amanda Hill
collected a corner five-yards in front of the Flash's goal, but sailed her shot wide right.
The Mountaineers host three straight matches in Morgantown in April, beginning with St. Francis on Saturday, April 5, at 4 p.m. Ohio State and Alderson-Broaddus visit Morgantown on April 12 and 17, respectively.