WNY Flash vs. Sky Blue FC – July 21, 2013
Players and coaches react to the Flash 3-0 win at home

WNY Flash player Abby Wambach:

(On the win and the Flash’s standings) Obviously we scored some goals, we created a lot of chances. This is a very telling game for us because we haven’t won in many games and those 3 points really do make a difference for your team to climb the table and make a playoff berth. So I’m impressed with the way that we showed up today. And every team is so close and the margin victory is so small, even though the scoreline didn’t show that today. But who knows, maybe I could’ve been offside on one of the goals. The referee could’ve called a penalty for them. There’s so many things that could’ve happened so you really do have to play to the last whistle. With five games left in the season, I believe that our fate and destiny is in our own hands.

(On Carli Lloyd) Carli and I obviously have played together for 10 years. She and I have a connection that we’re playing 2-3 plays ahead. And if you can get two people on the same page thinking that far in advance and get them on the same page, it’s a really dangerous combination. I’m pleased with the way Carli’s been playing and it’s not easy for her to step into the role after having her injury for the first part of the season and come on and make a difference. And she clearly has made a huge difference.

(On Samantha Kerr) Of course, Sam, she’s still a young player. Her consistency is what a 19-year-old level consistency should be at. I know I was less consistent than she is at her age. That’s a credit to her and the kind of player she is.

(On Sarah Huffman) I also think Sarah Huffman, our other outside winger, she played a fantastic first half, putting balls into the box, getting down the line, making things happen. And that’s the difference in this league. You have to have players that are willing to take risks to make things happen, rather than pay conservatively. Unfortunately, I think there’s a lot of goals to be scored in this league, but it’s those teams that want to take those risks and reap the rewards.

WNY Flash player Sarah Huffman:

(On being an instrumental part of the Flash’s win) I think for me the season didn’t start off the way I wanted with my injuries and it takes a while to get back. Our team’s been doing well and I was happy today to be able to contribute and be more involved and my teammates obviously make that easy. It was a fun game and a good win.

(On getting 3 points) I think it was even more important for us coming off that road trip that didn’t go as well as we would’ve liked, and then coming in and playing the team at the top of the table. We didn’t have any pressure on us – they’re up there and they know all these teams are behind them chasing. I think for us to get the win and get a 3-0 win, that will help us close out the end of the season and feel good that we can score goals and get a clean sheet.

(On controlling the game) Unfortunately for them they had a few injuries up top so our backs we’re able to hold the ball a little longer and play through our midfield. We did a good job today using a lot of the space. Our homefield is massive so if you can do a good job of spreading it out, the other team has trouble closing you down because there is so much space to cover. I think that our midfield played well, won a lot of first and second balls and our defense did a great job shutting down their forwards.

WNY Flash coach Aaran Lines:

(On the game) I thought we started very brightly. I thought the collective pressure was very good. The ladies played out the game, followed the game plan very clearly. So it was a good first half minus the last 7-8 minutes, I thought we lost a little bit control of it, but we got into the half 2-0. In the second half, it was all about scoring a third and I thought we had a couple opportunities before we did get that third. And from there I thought we still need to learn at times to be a bit more patient and a little less direct. But during the last 30 minutes of the game, there was some very nice combinations, some very good possession and we can build on this for sure. A must-needed win for us.

(On the standings) The results last night, obviously everyone’s aware of them. [Washington was eliminated from playoff contention with WNY’s win by losing on Saturday.] It was an important game, it’s a home game. We have the expectation that when we show up here and play at home, we should be in the game to win it. We followed through and we got that result, which is nice.

(On Sarah Huffman’s performance) I said to her when she came off, I thought it was her best performance of the season, and good timing. She had a rough start to her WNY Flash career with her MCL literally within the first few days of preseason and she came back and had a hamstring during that come-back phase. She looked really good there coming out of the MCL and then she had a hamstring that set her back. So it’s good to see her out on the field and doing what she did for us today. It’s something she can build on.

(On defense and midfield shutting down Sky Blue) The backbone for everything today was our defensive performance. I thought we did well on the outside, our two outside backs Alex (Sahlen) and (Katherine) Reynolds. I thought it was very convincing in our two central positions, especially late on in the game, they pushed (CoCo) Goodson and we’re playing two-on-two there and perhaps didn’t have as good cover as we perhaps needed and they still did very well there. And then the two in front, (McCall) Zerboni and (Angela) Salem, I thought they were incredible at plucking balls off tonight – they were tight, they were aggressive, they were organized and enabled the front five to attack. Overall, when you win 3-0 at home, there’s a lot of good performances out there. I thought everyone performed at a very high level.

Sky Blue FC coach Jim Gabarra:

(On the loss) It’s always a physical battle against them and I think we were too passive in the first half and with the exception of the last 15 minutes, really didn’t play much at all. It was a little bit better in the second half but we’re probably glad we don’t have to play them again and they wish they could play us every game.

(On De Vanna and Fooord’s injury and how long they need to recover) Lisa’s got a hamstring and Caitlin, it’s a bruise or sprain. I don’t know yet, we’ll probably see tomorrow.

(On dealing with the Wambach/Lloyd/Kerr combination) Well, we didn’t have good pressure on the ball so it allowed them good service into the spaces that they’re very dynamic in, they make a lot of good movement and overload zones and if you’re not going to get good pressure on the ball it’s pretty much impossible to stop and get stuck in one-on-one situations or players getting in behind the back four, offsides or not. It’s very similar to the last game down in Jersey where it’s questionable – Abby appeared to be offsides and our mistake, we stopped playing. Then Carli makes a good run and finishes it. Early part of the game, if you’re not physically flipped on and you’re giving a team like that a goal, it’s going to make it extra difficult.

(On taking positives away from the loss) You always learn more from losing, so it’s going to give us a chance to come together and try to solve the problems. We’re going to continue to have, like every team, players in and players out. We have to look at Kansas City ad find a way to beat them. Every team’s in desperation mode right now. Standings are so tight and we have to make sure we’re playing the same intensity that these teams are bringing.

(On whether it’s a match-up problem against WNY or not being able to play their best when they’ve met WNY) I think the 2-0, 3-0 games, the first 20-30 minutes we just didn’t show up, we weren’t ready, and we played poorly. When you’re down a goal or two early on, that changes the game. We certainly made adjustments today and those didn’t work out so we’re going to have to go back to the drawing board.

Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jill Loyden:

(On her first game) Obviously it’s exciting to get back on the field and have my debut. I was really excited and happy to be back on the field from my broken hand, so that was awesome. The game didn’t go as well as we had planned, but we’re taking away some positives from this and we’re going to learn from it. We’ve had some trouble with Western New York in the past and we were trying to make some adjustments and unfortunately they didn’t work. But if we have to play them again, we’ll feel a little bit more prepared.

(On WNY’s offense) They just really work well together. We were trying some different things and unfortunately it didn’t pan out for us and we know where we’re going to go away from in the future. They’re a tough team and we look forward to playing them because we have trouble with them, but we’re going be more prepared next time we play them.

(On defensive struggles) We definitely had some struggles in the back and in the midfield, some simple breakdowns. We had a lot of personnel changes in the back and I think that we just didn’t have the chemistry or playing time together to be able to solve it on the fly. I think going forward we’ll be able to look at the film and break down what we did wrong and hoe to fix things.