Photo by Robyn McNeil.
Sky Blue FC (1-5-4, 7 points) was never able to get its offense going on Sunday night at Yurcak Field, falling to the first-place Chicago Red Stars (5-1-3, 18 points) by a tally of 3-0. Three different Red Stars scored goals in the match, with forward Sofia Huerta leading her team with a pair of assists.
"When you look at the comparison of scoring opportunities, they were able to finish their chances while we were not,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “When you are not finishing your opportunities against a good team that is playing with confidence, you will find yourself on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line. We created chances tonight, but we were just really poor in the defining moments.”
Chicago opened the scoring in this contest in the 6th minute, making good on a play that started on the left flank by Huerta. With the ball at her feet, she weaved her way into the box before sending a hard roller across the mouth of the frame. There awaiting her distribution was midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, who one-timed a shot into the right-side netting to give the road side an early 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC created its first legitimate scoring opportunity in the 21st minute after defender Maya Hayes sent a ball up the right flank, where Meg Morris quickly collected before crossing it into the penalty area. Following a deflection, midfielder Katy Freels was there for the rebound, hammering a shot that ricocheted off the top of the crossbar for a goal kick.
The lead in this contest was stretched to two goals in the 34th minute, following a steal from defender Rachel Quon in the midfield. Quon then took a couple of touches and sent a ball upfield to Huerta, who turned to her right and hit a racing Jen Hoy inside the box. Hoy quickly stepped into the feed and struck a hard shot into the back of the net to hang a 2-0 tally.
A great chance was created by Sky Blue FC in the 50th minute of this outing after halftime substitute Nikki Stanton collected a ball in the midfield and struck a well-placed feed over the top of the Red Stars defense. Danish striker Nadia Nadim was the recipient as she raced into the penalty area, beating her defender to create a 1v1 situation with Chicago netminder Michele Dalton. Unfortunately for the home side, her shot attempt was punched away by Dalton.
The Red Stars eventually made it a 3-0 contest in the 62nd minute, as Hoy was able to run under a ball sent into the box from the midfield. After dancing into the right side of the penalty area, she turned and found midfielder Alyssa Mautz on her left side. Mautz then stepped into the distribution and fired a shot that hit the back of the net, despite being deflected, to put up the final 3-0 count.
With the loss, Sky Blue FC now finds itself amid a nine-game winless streak.
Sky Blue FC will next hit the road for a Friday night pairing with Portland Thorns FC before returning to Yurcak Field on Saturday, July 11th, to host Portland. Individual game tickets for Sky Blue FC home matches 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. Chicago Red Stars
June 28, 2015 – Yurcak Field
Piscataway, New Jersey
CRS 6 DiBernardo (Huerta)
CRS 34 Hoy (Huerta)
CRS 62 Mautz (Hoy)
SBFC – Cameron (C), Hayes (Pratt-70), Grubka, Cutshall, Levin, Gordon (Goodson-75), Freels, Lytle, Haagsma, Morris (46-Stanton), Nadim
Substitutes Not Used: Bledsoe, Breton, LaBonta, Diederich
CRS: Hoy (Walls-90), Gilliland, Mautz, Erceg, DiBernardo, Quon (Lomnicki-88), Hemmings (C), Johnson, Dalton, Huerta, Colaprico
Substitutes Not Used: McCloskey, Gonyo, Jakes, Horner, Luba