Midfielder Allie Long struck the game-winner for Sky Blue FC (Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Team Defeats magicJack on the Road, 2-0
Sky Blue FC (5-5-4, 19 points) firmly established itself in third place on the Women Professional Soccer (WPS) Table on Wednesday night, defeating magicJack (5-6-2, 16 points) by a tally of 2-0 behind a first half goal from midfielder Allie Long and a second half own goal by Abby Wambach. Combined with a 1-0 victory for the Philadelphia Independence (9-3-3, 30 points) over the Boston Breakers (4-6-4, 16 points) in other WPS action, the Sky Blue FC win now gives the team a three-point cushion over the fourth place Breakers.
“We played very organized and defended well as a group tonight,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra commented. “Most importantly, we did a good job of spreading them out when we had the ball, which I thought was the key to the game.”
Sky Blue FC opened up the scoring in this contest in just the 15th minute when the road club converted a corner kick opportunity. Swedish international Therese Sjogran put the chance into play, dealing a nice ball to the back post. U.S. National Team midfielder Heather O’Reilly then chested the distribution and laid it off for Long, who placed it into the opposite side netting to give Sky Blue FC a 1-0 advantage.
The second scoring play for Sky Blue FC occurred in the 68th minute on another corner kick, this time with forward Casey Nogueira putting the touch on the ball. Nogueira drove distribution across the mouth of the frame, where magicJack player/coach Wambach tried to send it away from danger. Unfortunately for the host side, the clearance attempt deflected off her body and misdirected into the magicJack net for an own goal. With the notch, the road club held a 2-0 lead, and it would not loosen its grip the rest of the way.
“This was a great road win, particularly against a team which was undefeated at home this year,” Gabarra concluded. “It was gratifying to see our team get this result because we have worked really hard to generate momentum and confidence. Getting these three points is a really big result for us.”
Sky Blue FC will now return home to Yurcak Field for its 2011 home finale on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., hosting Alex Morgan, Marta and the Western New York Flash. Tickets for that game are available now and can be purchased by calling 888-SBFC-TIX.