Sky Blue FC Prepares for Home Finale

Sky Blue FC looks to finish its 2011 home slate in style (Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
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Team Adds Dutch Defender Petra Hogewoning for Final Stretch of Season

Sky Blue FC (5-5-4, 19 points) is looking for its third consecutive win on Saturday evening when it hosts the Western New York Flash (8-2-3, 27 points) at Yurcak Field for its 2011 home finale. A new face will also be joining the team when it kicks off at 7:00 p.m., with Sky Blue FC officially announcing today the addition of Dutch defender Petra Hogewoning.

Hogewoning made her debut with the Dutch National Team in 2004 at the age of 18-years-old, and she previously played at the U-17 and U-19 level before joining the senior team. She currently holds 77 caps with the national team, and she most recently played professional club soccer with WFC Zvezda-2005 Perm in the Russian Premier League over the past two seasons.

“We had been looking for a left-footed defender who could play centrally or on the left, and Petra fits that description perfectly for us,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “She is still working to get acclimated since she has only had one training session so far, but we are definitely glad to have her here. Right now, we look to use her as a reserve until we need to use her, and she clearly has the opportunity to win playing time just like any other player.”

Most recently coming off back-to-back 2-0 victories over the Philadelphia Independence and magicJack, Sky Blue FC now looks to avenge its lone blemish at home this season when it faces Western New York on Saturday night. When the two sides last faced one another two weeks ago, the Flash were able to net a pair of late goals to defeat the hosts, 2-0. On the season, Sky Blue FC is 4-1-3 at Yurcak Field, going unbeaten in its first seven home matches of the year.

“Western New York has a very talented team, and we will have to do a great job of defending their attack,” Gabarra said. “We certainly understand the importance of this game, and I feel we can create chances against them just like we have done against every other team. Winning at home, especially your last home game, is critical.”

The Flash have the highest offensive output in the league so far this season with 28 goals, but Sky Blue FC assistant coach Rick Stainton says that talent is spread throughout the entire roster of the team.

“Western New York has weapons all over the field, and we are aware of that,” he commented. “We have been playing really well recently, and we are focused on doing what we need to do to accomplish good things. We have been clicking and gelling together at the right moment. Most importantly, we have placed the focus on us as a team, both in the way we are going to defend and in the way we are going to attack.”

Gates open for the 2011 Sky Blue FC home finale at 5:30 p.m., and tickets for the match can be purchased on game day at the Yurcak Field box office.

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