Oct. 12-13, 2019 -- The Flash won twice at the 29th Annual Jack Walsh Memorial Tournament, finishing second in Bracket B and narrowly missing out on the semifinals.
The Flash dropped their first game of the tournament 2-0 to the Haverford Avalanche, despite getting numerous scoring chances and controlling play for a good portion of the game. After Haverford scored in the fifth minute of play, Peyton saved a penalty kick to keep the game close. In the second half, Peyton made a nice pass to Avinh for a great scoring chance. That was followed by a tough defensive stop by Chase, who played the ball to the corner and led to a strong cross and another scoring opportunity for Peyton.
In the second game, the Flash righted the ship with a 2-1 victory against the Brandywine United Aces. Early on, it looked like this game might be more of the same, as the Flash had the opportunities, but it was Brandywine that carried a 1-0 lead into halftime. However, the Flash came alive with two goals, both from Reece, less than two minutes apart in the second half. On the first, Reece drilled a shot to the top corner on a free kick following a handball just outside the box. On the second, Colin raced down the sideline, turned the corner and slotted the ball to Reece for a beautiful one-touch goal. Near the end of the game, the Flash got a scare when Brandywine hit the crossbar from 30 yards out. Peyton made a nice follow-up save, and Connor cleared the ball out to seal the win. Ezana, Avinash and Connor played solid defense all game and held Brandywine scoreless in the second half.
The floodgates opened for the Flash in their final match, a 5-0 win over the Glen Rock Shooting Stars. After playing a quick game of head-ball ping-pong with the Shooting Stars, Charlie got the Flash on the board with a goal in the third minute of play. Colin had the ball near the end line with multiple defenders in his way, pulled the ball out of trouble and passed back to Charlie, who lofted a perfect far-post shot from just outside box.
The Flash had several other chances in the first half, including a long free kick by Ezana, a breakaway by Kenny, and several attacks from Jackson. The Flash got their second goal before halftime, when Kenny volleyed a corner kick from Reece and buried a shot at the back post. Reece was deadly on his corner kicks all game.
Early in the second half, Reece scored a sweet goal when he dribbled across the edge of the goalie box to get a far post shot. The Brandywine keeper played well, denying strong chances by both Ezana and Kenny. The Flash scored again when yet another corner kick by Reece went in off a Glen Rock defender, with Chase right there to apply the pressure. Zach appeared to scored off a great cross from Colin, but the play was ruled offsides. No matter, as less than a minute later, Colin and Zach teamed up for a nearly identical play that gave the Flash the 5-0 lead.
All in all, it was a successful weekend for the Flash, who take on Delaware FC Hockessin at Heebner for their next Central League game Oct. 19.
Tim O'Donnell once again contributed to this article... and is making a case to be the full-time Flash beat reporter.
Oct. 5, 2019 -- Keeping your opponent off the scoreboard is a good recipe for success, as the Flash have been proving lately. They won their third consecutive contest with an exciting 1-0 win over the Rose Tree Thunder at Heebner Park, extending their team shutout streak to 194 minutes in the process.
After a very even first half that featured chances at both ends of the pitch, the Flash got the game's only goal with under a minute remaining before the break. Kenny crossed to Tyler, whose shot bounced to Colin. Colin passed to Owen, and Owen buried the shot for his second goal in as many games.
The Flash's strong defense, anchored by Will, Ezana and Aidan, was on display throughout the game, along with solid goaltending from Charlie and Kenny, who combined for the clean sheet. In the early minutes, Charlie came out of the net to challenge a breakaway, slowing the attacker and getting a piece of the ball. The ball continued rolling towards the net, and Aidan was able to hustle back to clear it out of harm's way. Later, Charlie again came out of the net to clear the ball before Rose Tree could get a breakaway. On another play, Will hustled back on defense to prevent a 2-on-1, allowing Aidan time to clear the ball out of the box. Ezana stepped up on multiple occasions to stop attacks by Rose Tree. In the second half, Kenny made several good saves in net, catching the ball multiple times on shots lofted high by the Rose Tree attackers. He also used strong punts to transition the ball to the offensive zone.
The Flash were active on the attack throughout the game. Colin and Kenny both had shots early on. Tyler sent a corner kick to Avinash, who lofted a high shot that was saved by the keeper. Aidan sent a cross from the left side that bounced around the box and out to Gio, who sent a strong shot on goal. Another corner by Tyler found Chase on the far side. Chase's shot was saved by the keeper, and the rebound came out to Gio, who put another shot on goal. After a strong cross from Colin to Gio, the Rose Tree keeper had to make a leaping save to deflect Gio's shot off the crossbar. Chase and Jackson had a couple good chances in the second half, applying pressure that lead to a corner kick, and another shot on goal.
The Flash (3-2 Central League) have continued to improve each game, and are now riding high on a 3-game winning streak heading into this weekend's Jack Walsh Memorial tournament.
Sept. 28, 2019 -- Coming off a win last week against Haverford, the Flash kept the good times rolling with a 4-0 victory at Southern Chester County. As predicted in this space two weeks ago, the Flash are beginning to find their scoring touch, with four different players tickling the twine in this game.
Playing on a multi-use field that also serves as a cow pasture and rock garden during the week, the Flash jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half. Aidan set the tone in goal, making a good stop on an early breakaway. That save energized the Charge, who scored minutes later when Avinash got a head on a throw-in by Southern Chester County. He directed the ball to Tyler, who drove to the net and unselfishly passed across to Reese for the goal. Reese returned the favor just two minutes later. After Colin stopped a clearing attempt by Southern Chester County, he passed the ball up to Reese. Reese found Tyler open in the middle to give the Flash a 2-0 advantage. Some confusion over substitutions led to the Flash's next goal, as Owen gathered the ball at the top of the box off a throw-in and chipped the ball over the keeper's head.
The Flash tacked on another goal in the second half, when they were awarded a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box. Aidan took the kick and made no mistake, booting it into the upper left corner of the net. The Flash attack continued throughout the half, with Avinh making several good passes to Kenny for scoring chances. Kenny and Colin also executed a nice give-and-go that required a good save by the keeper.
Peyton preserved the clean sheet for the Flash, who have not allowed an opponent to score in the last 134 minutes of play.
The Flash had to play through injuries in this one. Ezana twisted his knee in the first minute of play and had to leave the game. Jackson took a push in the second half and came out with a bloody elbow after tumbling on the rocky playing surface. Thankfully, both players were able to return.
The Flash (2-2 Central League) are home against the Rose Tree Thunder Oct. 5.
Tim O'Donnell contributed to this article.
Sept. 21, 2019 -- The Flash earned their first Central League win in exciting fashion, with a 1-0 victory over the Haverford Rangers at Heebner Park.
Aidan got the match's only goal in the last minute of the first half. From his position of left defense, Aidan took at throw-in near the attacking left corner. The ball was played back to him, and he curved a long shot to the near post. The keeper got a hand on it, but it wasn't enough to stop the shot.
The Flash's defense made that goal hold up, highlighted by strong defensive plays by Tyler, Aidan and Ezana to snuff out the Haverford attack. Charlie and Kenny combined for the clean sheet in goal, with each making several good saves.
As has become customary, the Flash had a myriad of offensive chances during the game. Avinh had a good shot on goal off a pass from Grayson. Chase had a nice cross to Aidan that resulted in a shot on goal from the 18. Owen, Chase and Grayson passed the ball well on offense all game. Later, Avinash started a run up the side and fed a pass to Aaron, who put another shot on goal. A good hustle play by Aaron generated a corner kick, followed by a good pass from Jackson to Owen for a shot. Will looked to have scored a second goal for the Flash, but the play was ruled off-sides.
The Flash used strong throw-ins throughout the game to get offensive chances and also transition out of the defensive end.
The Flash will look to build on this momentum in their next game Sept. 28 at Southern Chester County.
After the game, the Flash players volunteered their time as sideline runners for the Methacton high school varsity and junior varsity boys soccer games.
Tommy Joshi contributed to this article.
Sept. 14, 2019 -- It's just a matter of time until the Flash start converting more of their offensive chances. And when they find their scoring touch, they'll be tough to beat. Against Marple Newtown, however, their offense continued to be stymied in a 3-1 loss.
Marple Newtown scored the only goal of the first half just 40 seconds into the game. Unfortunately, the Flash were the victims of some curious non-calls. It appeared as though the Flash should have been awarded two penalty shots in the first half following a handball in the box and then an illegal pickup by the goalie. Those plays could have swung the momentum and made a difference in the game.
But the Flash persevered and picked up their attack after halftime. In the 31st minute, Will started a play from the defensive end, moving the ball up to Kenny, who passed to Tyler. Tyler made a nice shot off the outside of his foot to get the ball past the goalie to even the score 1-1.
The Flash continued to get scoring opportunities but couldn't get another goal. Kenny and Vance both had a pretty crosses, and the goalie made a great save on another shot by Tyler. Colin hit a shot from the 18 that was tipped by the goalie, and Tyler nearly put in the rebound. Avinash made a good save in goal to keep the Flash within striking distance.
After the Flash controlled play at the beginning of the second half, Marple Newtown turned a long punt by their goalie into a score to take a 2-1 lead. They added their final goal a few minutes later to close out the win.
The Flash will look to get their first Central League win of the season Sept. 21 at home against Haverford.
Tim O'Donnell contributed to this article.
Sept. 7, 2019 -- The Flash dropped their season opener 2-1 to Penn Fusion at Heebner Park in a very even game that was there for the taking.
Kenny stood on his head in goal in the first half, shutting out Penn Fusion while making upwards of 10 saves. In one sequence, he made a leaping save to knock the ball over the net, and then dove to get a piece of a corner kick to tip the ball wide. He made another leaping save just before halftime.
The Flash's best first half chance came when a long punt by Kenny found Aidan speeding downfield. Aidan gathered the ball and put a good shot on goal. Christian also made a couple good runs and had a hard shot on goal. On defense, Will and Ezana turned in strong efforts, getting involved in the attack and then hustling to get back on defense.
Penn Fusion eventually scored 12 minutes into the second half to take a 1-0 lead. The Flash looked to have evened the score a few minutes later, after a high kick foul resulted in an indirect kick just outside the box. Aidan hit a great shot into the net, but the goal was waived off because no other player touched the ball.
The Flash had plenty of other chances, but were unable to finish. Jackson sent a good ball ahead to Christian for a great chance that went off the post, and Christian had another shot that went just wide. Meanwhile, Avinash battled 2-on-1 against Penn Fusion players in both the offensive and defensive zones and both times came out the other side with the ball.
Proving that good things happen when you put the ball on net, the Flash finally got on the board in the 56th minute when Ezana hit a shot from outside the 18 that found its way past the goalie. However, Penn Fusion answered just two minutes later to earn the 2-1 win.
The Flash will go on the road for the second game Sept. 14 against the Marple Newtown Gunners.
Aug. 31, 2019 -- The Flash closed out the month of August with a solid showing at the 32nd annual Al Perlini Memorial Tournament in Warminster, finishing with a 2-2 record and right in the thick of the competitive Boys U12 Black division.
The Flash dropped its first game of the day to VE Keilberg, 3-2. The Flash had plenty of chances in the first half, led by the tireless hustle and effort of Grayson, but were unable to convert. Meanwhile, VE Keilberg took advantage of their few scoring opportunities to open up a 2-0 lead by halftime. The Flash came out of the break with more energy, keyed by Tyler, who took the ball off a throw-in and weaved his way through the defense for a goal. Colin looked to even the score a few minutes later, but his goal was disallowed due to a high kick foul. Aidan P. also nearly tied the game with a blast off the left post, but alas, it was VE Keilberg who took a 3-1 lead on a direct kick from just outside the 18. The Flash kept battling, as Tyler scored again in the final minute, converting a penalty kick following a handball in the box.
The Flash earned their first win of the season in the second game, defeating Southampton Barcelona 3-1. Once again, it was Tyler getting on the board for the Flash, taking two touches off a nice pass from Owen before burying a shot in the lower left corner. That proved to be the only marker of the first half, with most of the play taking place in the middle of the field. The second half proved to be much more wide open, and Barcelona quickly tied the game 1-1. Just one minute later, however, Tyler scored the eventual game-winner on a shot that deflected off a defender and squirted past the goalie. Barcelona had several chances to even the score, but Will made some strong defensive plays and Vance made several big stops in net, repeatedly coming out to challenge the attacker. The Flash got an insurance goal with three minutes remaining, as Kenny made a good run up the right side that resulted in a corner kick. Off the ensuing kick, Kenny lofted a shot on goal that Aidan P. buried under the crossbar at the goal line.
A tough Philadelphia Ukraine Nationals Gray team, the eventual champs, loomed in the third game. Despite taking a 2-0 loss, the Flash rose to the challenge and played one of their strongest games of the season. Aidan P. shined in net throughout the match, making two huge early saves on point blank shots to keep his team in the game. He made another big save on a shot from the right side of the box midway through the half, followed by two more saves near the end of the half to keep the game scoreless. Ezana also made numerous stops and takeaways on defense throughout the game. The Flash nearly got on the board early in the second half, as Tyler got a rebound off a corner kick and blasted a shot that went high and wide. Later, Kenny and Tyler worked the ball down the right side, sending a cross to Aidan D. for a shot that went wide left. Unfortunately, it was the Ukraine Nationals who finally got the first goal of the game at the 25-minute mark. They nearly scored again minutes later, but Charlie made a stop on a corner kick from his defensive position. Aidan P. made yet another save late in the second half to thwart a breakaway before the Ukraine Nationals added a late goal to close out the game.
The Flash's offense came alive in their final game of the day, a 4-1 win over the Upper Dublin White Dragons. The Flash were flying out of the gate, as Charlie took a pass from Owen and one-timed it past the goalie in the first minute of play. The attack continued as Jackson made a nice move at the top of the box and ripped a shot that just missed the upper right corner. Owen lofted a shot just over the crossbar before Colin got the Flash's second goal, stealing the ball off a goal kick and beating the White Dragons goalie. Vance made a run down the right side and hit a cross that went through the box for another scoring chance. The Flash extended their lead to 3-0 early in the second half, when Vance's corner kick bounced around in the box and popped out to Avinash, who banged it into the net. The White Dragons had opportunities to make a comeback, but Charlie saved two consecutive direct kicks, including one from just outside the penalty area. The Flash's attack was relentless, as Tyler hit a direct kick from midfield that clanged off the post, while Chase, Kenny and Vance all had shots on goal in the second half. The Flash got their final goal when Owen stole a goal kick and put a well-placed shot in the upper-left corner, just out of the goalie's reach. The White Dragons scored their lone goal off a corner kick in the 30th minute.
The Flash open their Central League schedule Saturday at home against Penn Fusion.
Aug. 18, 2019 -- The Flash kicked off their 2019 schedule at the Colleen Reilly tournament on a hot, humid Sunday with temperatures reaching the 90s. In South Philadelphia, Bryce Harper was forced to leave the Phillies game after the fifth inning due to dehydration and blurry vision. Meanwhile, in North Wales, the Flash players battled hard for three grueling games and fought until the final whistle.
The Flash were moved up to the second division in this year's tournament and therefore faced some stiff competition. Seeing their first game action as a team in several months, the Flash needed a bit of time to get into form. They played the eventual champ Philly Rising Stars in the opener and fell to a 3-0 first half deficit. Their best chance came when Tyler hit a shot off the crossbar, and Zach nearly scored off the rebound. The Flash rallied and put forth a much stronger effort in the second half, holding the Rising Stars scoreless after halftime thanks to some nice saves by Aidan in goal and good defense stops by Will, Connor and Colin. The Flash had more scoring chances in the second half than the Rising Stars but were unable to find the back of the net.
The Flash battled the Parkland Area Red Dragons to a 3-3 draw in the second game. The Flash controlled play off the opening tap, with scoring opportunities from Grayson, Aidan and Zach. However, it was the Red Dragons who got on the board first with a goal at the 7-minute mark. Kenny stopped another Red Dragon attack with a diving save in goal, and Avinash made a great defensive save on the far post from a corner kick. That allowed the Flash to even the game at 1-1 when Tyler stole the ball off a throw-in, wound his way through the Red Dragons defense and put a shot past the goalie. The Red Dragons scored before halftime, but their lead was short-lived, as Tyler sped down the left side and beat the goalie through the five-hole early in the second half. Minutes later, Owen served up a great through ball and Tyler finished off his hat trick by burying a shot in the bottom left corner to give the Flash its first lead of the day, 3-2. (The game was delayed several minutes to allow the grounds crew to pick up all the hats that were thrown onto the field.) Ezana made an awesome defensive save on the far post off a corner kick to keep the Flash in the lead. Later in the half, Grayson fed Will for a shot that nearly extended the Flash's lead, but it was the Red Dragons who scored last to earn the tie.
In the final game, the Flash faced PA Rush 2008 Azul. With the heat starting to wear on both teams, PA Rush was on the attack most of the game. Charlie made numerous big saves for the Flash in both halves to keep the game close. At different points throughout the game, the Flash were able to mount sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Kenny got the ball to Owen, who found Grayson for an opportunity on the right side. Later, Jackson stole the ball and passed ahead to Owen, who hit a good shot. But the Flash were unable to solve the PA Rush goalie and fell 3-0.
The Flash are back in action Aug. 31 at the Al Perlini Tournament, where they earned a silver medal last year.