Wambach, Flash earn first win, deliver Sky Blue’s first loss in 2-1 victory

Photo by Howard C. Smith, courtesy Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue v Western New York Flash

A shaky start was all the Western New York Flash needed to take advantage of Sky Blue and earn their first win of the season.

With local girl Abby Wambach returning to her home town for the first time, the Flash pinned back Sky Blue and road her return to a 2-1 victory.

Former Sky Blue striker Adriana Martin opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a nifty tap in from a left wing service by Samantha Kerr. It would mark the first time all season Sky Blue trailed in a match.

The Christie Rampone led Sky Blue defense played poorly in the box and the Flash took advantage. It was a theme that followed for most of the first half. After giving up all of one true goal through their first two matches, Sky Blue was lit up for two in the first 20 minutes.

And who would score the second of the night? Wambach of course. Once again taking advantage of miscommunication on the defensive end, Wambach was the beneficiary on the break, shooting one on frame from short distance and beating Brittany Cameron for the 2-0 lead. Sky Blue would find the back of the net in the 44th minute thanks to a nice one-timed shot by Canadian International Sophie Schmidt off of a Kelley O’Hara feed, but the damage was already done.

“We cannot come out as flat as we did in the first half and expect to have a chance at getting points on the road,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “We allowed a couple of goals early, and, in all honesty, we were a little fortunate to still be in the game by scoring a goal in the last few minutes of the first half.”

The message was heeded in the second half as the Sky Blue offense opened up, riding the threat of Lisa DeVanna towards the offensive third. While playing a major role in the surge, her shots were consistently off target. The defense buckled down for the final 45 minutes which was a promising sign, but it did little to change the scoreline.

“We just have to learn from our mistakes, both individually and collectively. We must come prepared to play from the opening whistle. The next two games are at home and are very important for us, so the first thing we have to do right now is focus on next Wednesday against Chicago.”

“We did a little better in the second half, but we just were not getting to the ball first. Even with that said, we had some opportunities to steal a point there at the end,” Gabarra said. “We just have to learn from our mistakes, both individually and collectively. We must come prepared to play from the opening whistle. The next two games are at home and are very important for us, so the first thing we have to do right now is focus on next Wednesday against Chicago.”