90 minutes was not enough time to declare a victor at Yurcak Field on Saturday night (Photo by Howard C. Smith).
Teams Fight to 90-Minute Stalemate at Yurcak Field
Sky Blue FC (9-3-4, 31 points) and the Boston Breakers (5-5-5, 20 points) fought for 90 minutes at Yurcak Field on Saturday night, with the end result being a scoreless draw. With that final tally, Sky Blue FC takes the season series from the Breakers (2-1-1) and still finds itself in the top spot on the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Table.
“When we play against a team like Boston, we expect it to be a tough match-up,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra commented. “Overall, there are some things we could have done better, but you also have to credit them for making it difficult for us.”
Throughout the entire opening session, some good back-and-forth action was displayed by both teams. Each side was able to create some opportunities, but solid defense and some great goalkeeping were being performed.
In just the second minute of this match, Sky Blue FC came as close to putting itself on the board as possible. After a corner kick from forward Danesha Adams arrived at the feet of midfielder Manya Makowski just outside the 18, the Arizona State product crossed it back into the box and off the head of Australian striker Lisa De Vanna. The ball then found its way back to Adams on the right flank, and she quickly sent it back into the penalty area. De Vanna was again the beneficiary of the distribution, and she booted a sure goal towards the frame. Unfortunately for the home side, Boston netminder Ashley Phillips made an athletic play on the attempt and pushed it away with a diving save.
In the 39th minute, Breakers striker Kyah Simon nearly broke the stalemate when she fired a hard shot that flew towards the top right corner of the frame. Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron was able to respond quickly to the well-placed strike, going high to punch the ball over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, Cameron again answered the call by aggressively snatching the ball as it entered the penalty area.
Sky Blue FC once again came within fingertips of opening the scoring in the 53rd minute of this game on a play that started at the feet of Makoski, who sent a well-struck chip into the penalty area from the midfield. There awaiting the delivery was De Vanna, and the Australian playmaker was able to position herself securely enough to send a hard header towards the goal. Phillips was again ready for the attempt, though, and the Boston netminder made an athletic dive on the shot to punch it away.
In the 86th minute of play, Sky Blue FC nearly broke the stalemate on a late corner kick. On the play, Adams sent a well-struck feed into the box, and defender Coco Goodson put a head on the distribution that sailed just high of the top crossbar. In the following minute, midfielder Katy Freels collected a ball and entered the 18-yard box before sending over a hard roller to De Vanna on the right flank. De Vanna then booted a cross back into the penalty area for Freels, who got her right foot on the delivery, only to see Phillips gather the shot attempt.
With the final minutes winding down in this match, both teams fought for the go-ahead tally, but it was not meant to be. When the final whistle was blown to conclude the contest, the final result was a scoreless draw.
“We were focusing on tracking our runners and trying to win balls in the midfield,” said midfielder Brittany Bock, who checked into this match in the 64th minute for the first time since breaking her arm in early May. “Some moments were better than others, but we really tried to dial in on getting control of the ball and finding our players.”
Next up for Sky Blue FC is a road contest next Sunday when the team heads north to face the Western New York Flash (6-4-5, 23 points), with that match airing live on FOX Soccer Channel at 1:30 p.m. Sky Blue FC will return to Yurcak Field on Sunday, July 28th, when it hosts FC Kansas City at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for that game are available now and can be purchased by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (723-2849).