There are three championships in the Western New York Flash past, but none in the National Women’s Soccer League, which began play in 2013.
The Flash will try to remedy that Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston against the Washington Spirit in the NWSL championship game (5 p.m., FoxSports 1).
The Flash reached the title game by upsetting the Portland Thorns, 4-3, in overtime last Sunday in Oregon. Portland had won the shield as the NWSL regular-season champion.
Lynn Williams, who scored twice in the first overtime at Portland, was named NWSL Most Valuable Player. The 23-year-old forward from Pepperdine University also won the Golden Boot as the NWSL goal-scoring champion with 11 in 19 games. Kealia Ohai of the Houston Dash also had 11 goals, but Williams had five assists, one more than Ohai.
Washington advanced with 2-1 overtime win over Chicago Red Star on an overtime goal by Francisca Ordega.
FC Kansas City won the last two NWSL championships but did not make the playoffs this year. Portland defeated the Flash, 2-0, in Rochester in the first NWSL championship game.
The Flash won three championships in other leagues: in 2010 (USL W-League), 2011 (WPS), and 2012 (WPSLE).
WNY will have coach Paul Riley back for this one. Riley was ejected in the 40th minute of the semifinal. Assistant Scott Vallow took over the team.
The Flash was 0-1-1 against Washington in the 2016 regular season, losing, 3-0, in Rochester and playing a 1-1 draw away. WNY (9-6-5) led the league with 40 goals. The second-place Spirit (12-5-3) had 30.