By Dominic Chamberlain
On Saturday Sept. 17, Canisius College will play host to a bit of a rarity in the world of Women’s Soccer. On that night the Western New York Flash will take on the Thailand Women’s National team in a friendly match at the Demske Sports Complex.
The Flash, who normally play their home games in Rochester Rhinos Stadium, will call Canisius and the Demske home when they kick off at 7:00 pm Saturday night. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring an international game to western New York,” Flash General Manager Rich Randall told wnyflash.com.
Thailand will take on the Flash just two days removed from a showdown with the United States Women’s National team in a game that took place Thursday night in Columbus Ohio.
The US was able to take care of Thailand without any real resistance in this game. A 9-0 final and three goals in within the first six minutes of the game was really all the United States needed.
Midfielder Samantha Mewis is the only player from the Flash that will be dressing for the United States in their international games this week, including the matchup in Columbus. Mewis started the game in Columbus against Thailand. Although she didn’t join the scoring train she did register 2 shots however neither of which were on target.
Mewis went to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics as an alternate for team USA. The United States lost to Team Sweden in the Olympics in a game that went to penalty kicks. Thailand has never qualified for the Olympic tournament.
This game will be the first time in Flash history that they will face a National team. It’s actually a rarity for women’s soccer club team to play against a National team and the Flash find themselves in an interesting spot due to this.
After the Flash play Saturday night, they have to shift focus to earning a playoff spot the following week in Boston. The National Women’s Soccer League, which the Flash area part of, are on an off week, hence the availability for the matchup against Thailand. When play resumes for the Flash against the Boston Breakers in Boston, the Flash have an opportunity to earn a playoff spot. A game against the best soccer players Thailand has to offer should warm the Flash up for the contest.
Canisius has the opportunity to host a rare contest. Matt Reitnour, Assistant Athletic Director For Communications here at Canisius said, “Obviously they are using our facility and we are happy to give them a field to play on, seeing as how we have no contests on Saturday night… They played a rental fee to use the facility obviously, but we were more than happy to give them a place to play.”
Canisius has the unique opportunity to host an interesting matchup. It won’t be a usual Saturday at the Demske as a member of the United States national team and the best soccer players from Thailand will square off In Buffalo.