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Western New York Flash 0-1 Philadelphia Independence

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The Philadelphia Independence rolled into Rochester, New York to become the first team to defeat the Flash all season. A 90th minute goal by Danesha Adams was a moment of brilliance in a sloppy game, void of many chances.

Paul Riley continued to tinker with his starting XI, putting out an offensive line up to challenge New York, who were without some key contributors to their victory in Philadelphia just two weeks ago. Caroline Seger and Christine Sinclair were away with the Swedish and English national teams respectively, but Brazilian national Marta was still with the Flash. Riley deployed a 4-3-3 for the first time this season, starting recent signing Veronica Boquete with Tasha Kai and Homfridur Magnusdottir up top. Joanna Lohman started for the second time in two weeks, as Sanderson and rookie Sinead Farrelly were both confined to the bench.

The offensive minded line up was positive to start the match. Philadelphia enjoyed a decent spell of possession in the early going, but the first chance of the match fell to New York. After a corner kick was cleared, it was Maureen who escaped the New York end with the ball to find a streaking Marta down the left side. Marta found Yael Averbush making a run in the left channel and laid the ball in her path. Averbush took it first time from about 15 yards, but pushed her effort just wide of Val Henderson’s far post.

The rest of the first half and the beginning of the second played out in sloppy passes with very little flow. Marta looked to change things on her own when she finally found a yard of space on top of the Independence box. Kia McNeil, Marta’s shadow on the night, would not allow the Brazilian to get the ball on her preferred left foot, and Marta drove into the box pushing the ball right. But her touch was heavy and the ever alert Henderson slid in perfectly to take the ball of her feet.

As the half wore on, Riley looked to inject some life in the sloppy match with his substitutions. Sinead Farrelly replaced Joanna Lohman on 60 minutes and Adams replaced the limping Tasha Kai not long after. Lianne Sanderson was the final throw of the dice, replacing Christina DiMartino at 73 minutes.

Paul Riley will be pleased with his choices, as it was Sanderson supplying the delivery for Adams fantastic finish. The play started with the ever consistent Jen Buczkowski claiming a loose ball in the midfield before pushing it out to the left side for Sanderson. Sanderson controlled the ball, picked up her head, and found the wide open Adams just in front of the penalty spot with a perfect delivery. Adams still had some work to do, and her header was powerful and to the right of Ashlyn Harris who could do nothing to keep the ball out. She will wonder where her defenders were, as there was no one within five yards of Adams.

Much of the game resembled the match from two weeks ago, where after some early goals the teams played for long stretches creating few chances and not keeping much flow in either of their games. But Philadelphia will be happy with their effort taking on a team that hadn’t lost all season. Riley will be pleased to see Adams, who has been subpar and confined to the bench for much of the season, finally break her duck and find the back of the net. Lianna Sanderson will feel redeemed to be in on the goal herself, after a poor penalty miss last week cost the Independence two points in a 1-1 draw with Atlanta.

Player Ratings

G Val Henderson – 8

Outside of some shaky moments with balls being played back to her feet, a solid game and second consecutive clean sheet for Henderson. Was agressive and effective punching out corner kicks and did extremely well to smother Marta’s chance early in the second half.

RB Leigh Ann Robinson – 6

Did not have much to deal with on the wing, but kept the tricky Maureen in check all match.

CB Nikki Krzysik – 7

With McNeil tracking Marta for large portions of the match, Kryszik patrolled the center of the park effectively snuffing out the rest of the New York attack.

CB Kia McNeil – 9

Another great performance for McNeil. Shadowed Marta for much of the match and didn’t allow the cheeky Brazilian a sniff of the Philadelphia goal outside of the one chance. Was dominant in the air as usual and physically punished anyone who tried to challenge her.

LB Estelle Johnson – 6

Not a lot of work on the left side for Johnson, but was steady when called upon.

RM Joanna Lohman – 6

Not a lot of action for the midfielder in the offensive end of the field. But was responsible defensively and strong on the ball.

CM Jen Buczkowski – 7

More quality stuff from the midfield sweeper. Was responsible for much of the match being sloppy by breaking up the New York attack before they could move into the final third. Supplied a good ball before Sanderson’s lovely assist.

LM Christina DiMartino – 6

Was her usual creative self when the ball did get to her feet, but it did not find her as much as it has in the previous matches. Possibly not her fault, but she’s at her best driving at opposing back lines and has to find the ball when it is not finding her.

F Tasha Kai – 6

Struggled to find quality service for much of the match, particularly early on. Started to come on in the second half with some quality runs, but an awkward fall saw her evening come to an early end.

F Veronica Boquete – 6

Also did not receive much service. But produced some moments of quality with the ball at her feet. Surprising to see her go the full 90 as she still doesn’t seem fully fit after only joining the team last week, but perhaps Kai’s injury kept her in the match.

F Holmfridur Magnusdottir – 5

Moved up to the wing after playing left back for much of the season, but the same problems haunted her game. She gave away possession on the dribble more than she would have liked and also fired a few errant passes. She will have to improve her quality to keep a place in the starting XI.


Sinead Farrelly – 7

Dropped to the bench for the first time this season with Paul Riley looking to get some more offense from the youngster. She was lively coming into the match in the 60th minute and found the ball in better locations than she has in previous matches.

Danesha Adams – 9

Did not see a ton of the ball after coming on to replace Kai, but finished the one chance that did fall to her with aplomb.

Lianne Sanderson – 8

After struggling at striker last week, Sanderson failed to start for the first time all season. But made a huge mark on the match by coming in and delivering a beautiful cross for Adams to finish.


  1. Have to take issue with your Magnusdottir rating. You seem to have forgotten that she is AWESOME.
    Henderson’s save on Marta was amazing. Marta should have taken the shot sooner instead of trying to drag around such an aggressive goalie. What a great win.

  2. Allison Frank says:

    Her name is awesome, but she didn’t have an awesome game. Not sure up top is the place for her, she doesn’t have the quickness to beat defenders on the dribble.

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