Western New York edges Washington Spirit to win NWSL Championship

For the first time in club history, the Western New York Flash have won the National Women's Soccer League. On Sunday, the Flash overcame Crystal Dunn's brace to beat the Washington Spirit in penalty kicks in the NWSL Championship 3-2. The two finished regulation at 2-2.

After finishing the season with the second-best record and the No. 2 seed, the Spirit was favored but had to worry about a Flash team with tons of confidence after they upset the No. 1 seed Portland 4-3 in the semifinals.

In the final, Dunn put her side into the lead just nine minutes in, but the Flash responded four minutes later through Samantha Mewis, and the teams went the rest of regulation without finding the net again.

In extra time, it was a piece or brilliance from Dunn that gave the favorites the lead less than a minute into extra time as she infiltrated the opposing box and fired near post to the upper corner.

When Washington went up 2-1 in extra time, it seemed pretty much over. The Spirit entered the game with an 8-0-0 record on the year when scoring two goals, and the defense did its job the rest of the way, except for the final seconds.

A lapse at the back saw Lynn Williams head home a long ball to send the match to penalty kicks.

And in penalty kicks, it was Sabrina D'Angelo, the Flash's goalkeeper, who stole the show making three saves to send Western New York to the summit of United States women's soccer. D'Angelo was voted the MVP of the match.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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