ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – Ashlynn Harris made a diving save on the final penalty kick as the expansion Western New York Flash defeated the Philadelphia Independence 5-4 on penalty kicks to win the WPS Championship game Saturday at Sahlen's Stadium.
Both teams combined to score on the first nine penalty kicks, putting the pressure on Philadelphia's Laura del Rio to keep the game tied.
Harris dove to her left and made a save with both hands to clinch the win for the expansion Flash.
The game was tied at 1 following the 90-minute regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods.
The Flash led 1-0 late in the game but the Independence tied the score in the 87th minute on a goal by Amy Rodriguez. Following a scramble in front of the Flash net, Rodriguez gathered a rebound and slipped the ball past Flash goalie Ashlyn Harris.
Christine Sinclair, who was selected game MVP, scored in the 64th minute to give the Flash a 1-0 lead. Defender Candance Chapman sent a perfect through pass through to Sinclair, who trotted in alone and scored on a left-footed shot inside the near post.
Marta, Sinclair, McCall Zerboni, Caroline Seger and Yael Averbuch scored in the shootout for the Flash (14-2-3), whose only two losses this season were to Philadelphia.
Lianne Sanderson, Danesha Adams, Leigh Ann Robinson and Veronica Boquete scored for the Independence.
The expansion Flash roster has many players from last year's champion Bay Area FC Gold Pride, including Marta and Sinclair. The Pride ceased operations following last season due to financial constraints.