Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron recorded seven saves in the match (Photo by Robyn McNeil).
Forward Nadia Nadim Fires Equalizer on Late PK Opportunity
A late red card and penalty kick conversion resulted in a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Yurcak Field, where Sky Blue FC (1-2-2, 5 points) hosted the visiting Seattle Reign FC (2-2-1, 7 points). Danish striker Nadia Nadim made good on the penalty kick try, which came after a handball infraction on Seattle midfielder Jessica Fishlock.
“It was an important psychological shift for us to come back and get the draw,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “When you get into these games and give up a goal, it is a confidence booster to know that you have the ability to come back. After allowing the goal, we found some energy and commitment to go forward, which created some chances and eventually led to the penalty kick opportunity.”
In the opening half of action, a battle for possession ensued in the midfield, with Seattle creating a couple of dangerous opportunities that forced Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron to make two critical diving saves in point blank range. The best scoring chance for Sky Blue FC in the first half came in the 44th minute. On the play, midfielder Katy Freels picked off a ball about 25 yards out and found herself with a bit of space. She then turned upfield and saw a chance to get off a shot, but her attempt was off the mark.
Cameron continued her stellar play into the second half, turning away two more consecutive point blank shots in the 50th minute that were well struck and on target. However, Seattle was finally able to break the scoreless deadlock in the 76th minute. On what started off a corner kick, defender Lauren Barnes eventually collected just on top of the left side of the penalty area. With players in front of her impairing the vision of Cameron, Barnes unloaded a hard shot that stayed close to the ground and then into the back netting. With the tally, Seattle found itself with a 1-0 advantage.
In the 88th minute of this match, a wild turn of events occurred following a Sky Blue FC corner kick. After midfielder Sarah Killion put the ball into play, Sky Blue FC saw itself with two point blank opportunities at the mouth of the goal that were punched away by Seattle netminder Haley Kopmeyer. Following the final attempt, which was struck by defender Hayley Haagsma, the whistle was blown for a handball infraction on Fishlock. When everything was sorted out, Fishlock was issued a red card, and Sky Blue FC received a penalty kick opportunity. Stepping over the chance was Nadim, who leveled the match after hammering a shot into the left netting.
The two sides continued to battle over five minutes of stoppage time, but the 1-1 score remained when the final whistle was blown.
Sky Blue FC will hit the road for its next two matches before returning to Yurcak Field on Sunday, May 31st, to host the Houston Dash at 3:00 PM EST. Individual game tickets are on sale now. Make sure you catch all of the world class NWSL action this season at Yurcak Field by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849)!
Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign FC
May 9, 2015 – Yurcak Field
Piscataway, New Jersey
Sky Blue FC: 0-1-1
Seattle Reign FC: 0-1-1
SRFC 76 L.Barnes
SBFC 90 N.Nadim (Penalty Kick)
SBFC – B.Cameron (C), K.Grubka, C.Levin (K.DeCesare-85), L.Cutshall, M.Morris, H.Haagsma, T.Lytle (M.Hayes-70), K.Freels, S.Killion, S.Gordon, N.Nadim
Substitutes Not Used: A.Bledsoe, N.Stanton, L.LaBonta,T. Diederich
SRFC: H.Kopmeyer, L.Barnes, E.Reed, K.Little, M.Mathias (M.Nogueira-86), J.Fishlock, K.Winters, K.Fletcher, S.Cox, B.Yanez (A.Brooks-86), K.Dallstream (D.Foxhoven-57)
Substitutes: R.Corsie, M.Cruz, C.Stanley, M.French
78 SBFC Yellow N.Nadim
82 SBFC Yellow K.Grubka
90 SRFC Red J.Fishlock