The Western New York Flash (WNYF) is an American professional soccer club based in Elma, New York that will be competing in the upcoming United Women's Soccer season. They most recently competed in the National Women's Soccer League from 2012–2016. In January 2017, the WPS franchise was sold to the owners of North Carolina FC, who re-branded the club as the North Carolina Courage.
The team was founded in 2008 as the Buffalo Flash and played in the USL USL W-League from 2008–2010. In 2011, the team became the Western New York Flash and joined Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). In 2012, the team was a member of Women's Premier Soccer League Elite (WPSL-E) following the folding of the WPS. The Flash won three consecutive league championships from 2010 to 2012 under head coach Aaran Lines: W-League in 2010, WPS in 2011 and WPSL-E in 2012. The Flash reached the inaugural NWSL Championship during the 2013 season, but fell to the Portland Thorns FC while searching for their fourth-straight title. In 2016, the team won the NWSL Championship for the first and only time.
The team is owned by the Sahlen family, who run a meat packing company in Buffalo. Joe Sahlen was the owner. His daughter, Alex Sahlen, is the team President and a former defender on the team.Close