August 27, expansion Western New York Flash won the 2011 WPS Championship by defeating Philadelphia Independence 5-4 in penalties at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York, for a crowd of 10,461. The Flash also won the regular season with the best overall record (13-2-3) and thus won the right to host the final.
Philadelphia, coached by two-time WPS Coach of the Year Paul Riley reached the final by beating magicJack 2-0 in the semifinal at PPL Park for a crowd of 5,410. MagicJack defeated the Boston Breakers 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs at FAU Soccer Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.
It was Philadelphia’s second playoff run in the successful team’s two-year history. Click here for an interview with Independence owner David Halstead.
After a hard-fought and scoreless first half, Christine Sinclair, assisted by Candace Chapman, scored the go-ahead goal for the Flash in the 64th minute. It was Sinclair’s third career goal in a WPS Championship match, the most of any WPS player. Just minutes before the end of regular time Amy Rodriguez spoiled the victory for WNY by slashing in the equalizer for a 1-1 result at the end of regular time.
The two 15-minute periods of extratime were chippy and attacking affairs, with Beverly Goebel ejected with her second caution in the 108th minute and four yellow cards issued by referee Kari Seitz.
The penalty takers were almost perfect at 5-4, but WNY goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris denied Laura Del Rio’s final penalty, effectively winning the 2011 Championship for the Flash.
Sinclair named MVP
Flash and Canadian National Team striker Christine Sinclair was named WPS Championship MVP for her outstanding performance. Sinclair is now one of seven players on the Flash to repeat as Champions, after capturing the title in 2010 as teammates on the former FC Gold Pride.
Flash sets attendance records
The Flash had the highest WPS attendance in 2011, drawing an average of 4,881 fans per game, third highest regular season average in WPS’s three-year history. The Flash set an all-time WPS attendance record with a crowd of 15,404 on July 20.
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Western New York Flash (0-0-1) vs. Philadelphia Independence (1-0-1)
Saturday, August 27, 2011 — Sahlen’s Stadium
WNY: Christine Sinclair 1 (Candace Chapman) 64′
PHI: Amy Rodriguez 2 (Unassisted) 88′
PENALTY KICK SHOOTOUT:
WNY: Marta (Goal)
PHI: Lianne Sanderson (Goal)
WNY: Christine Sinclair (Goal)
PHI: Danesha Adams (Goal)
WNY: McCall Zerboni (Goal)
PHI: Leigh Ann Robinson (Goal)
WNY: Caroline Seger (Goal)
PHI: Veronica Boquete (Goal)
WNY: Yael Averbuch (Goal)
PHI: Laura del Rio (Save)
WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH — Ashlyn Harris, Ali Riley, Candace Chapman, Whitney Engen, Rebecca Moros, Caroline Seger, Becky Edwards (Beverly Goebel, 76′), Brittany Bock (Yael Averbuch, 104′), Marta, Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan (McCall Zerboni, 106′)
Substitutes Not Used: Kandace Wilson, Brittany Cameron, Gemma Davison, Gina Lewandowski
PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE — Nicole Barnhart, Leigh Ann Robinson, Nikki Krzysik, Kia McNeill, Estelle Johnson, Jen Buczkowski (Lianne Sanderson, 84′), Tina DiMartino (Laura del Rio, 73′), Sinead Farrelly, Veronica Boquete, Tasha Kai (Danesha Adams, 73′), Amy Rodriguez
Substitutes Not Used: Joanna Lohman, Lori Lindsey, Val Henderson, Gina DiMartino
TEAM STATS: WNY PHI
Shots 10 12
Shots on Goal 5 2
Fouls 12 9
Offsides 3 2
Corner Kicks 14 2
Saves 1 4
WNY: Becky Edwards (Caution) 25′
PHI: Veronica Boquete (Caution) 90+
WNY: Beverly Goebel (Caution) 96′
WNY: Marta (Caution) 103′
WNY: Beverly Goebel (Ejection) 108′
Referee: Kari Seitz
Referee Assistants: Russell Wolf, Juliana Duncan
4th Official: Robert Sibiga