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.