After two winless efforts against the defending National Women’s Soccer League champion Seattle Reign, the Western New York Flash (4-5-2) return to action against the Sky Blue FC of New Jersey at 3 p.m. Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
The Flash will welcome back Whitney Engen back from the U.S. Women’s National Team after its victory in the World Cup. The Flash’s other National Team member, forward Sydney Leroux, will miss the remainder of the NWSL season after foot surgery. WNY defender Chelsea Stewart is still away representing Canada in the Pan-Am Games.
It’s the first of two meetings in the regular season between the Flash and Sky Blue (2-6-4). WNY is 3-1-1 at home including a 0-0 tie with Seattle two weeks ago before a 4-2 loss in Seattle last Saturday. Amanda Frisbie’s goal with the assist by Samantha Mewis gave WNY a 1-0 lead in the Seattle game, but the Reign rallied with three goals in just six minutes in the second half.
Seattle and the Chicago Red Stars share the league lead with 21 points each. The Flash are fifth with 14.
Sunday’s game is the first of three straight at home for the Flash.
WNY will host the Houston Dash at 7 p.m. on Saturday and the Portland Thorns at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29. That will be followed by four road games in a row over 23 days in August.
Mewis and Lynn Williams lead the Flash with three goals each. Williams and Becky Edwards have three assists each to lead in that category. Mewis ranks in the top 10 in the league with 28 shots and Williams is also among the leaders with 14 shots on goal.
Flash goalkeeper Chantel Jones ranks 10th in the NWSL with a 1.37 goals-against average. She is 2-2-1.
Sky Blue is last in the NWSL and has scored the fewest goals (8) in 12 games. At the same time, Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron has played more minutes (1,080) and made more saves (60) than any other keeper in the league. The Flash are 5-3 all-time against Sky Blue.