Photo by Robyn McNeil.
Sky Blue FC Concludes 2015 NWSL Season in Wednesday Finale at Yurcak Field
Sky Blue FC (5-8-7, 22 points) and FC Kansas City (9-6-5, 32 points) combined for five goals on Wednesday night at Yurcak Field, with the visiting side earning a 3-2 result. Forward Sam Kerr registered a brace for Sky Blue FC in the game, which was the final outing of the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season for the New Jersey club.
“We had a flat start tonight in the first 20 minutes and found ourselves chasing an early goal,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “Once we found our proper energy level, I was proud of the way our team battled. Throughout the game, we created enough chances to get out of here with a result, but a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes in the back cost us a bit. Overall, I was pleased with the performance and the resolve that our team displayed.”
FC Kansas City opened the score in the fifth minute of this contest, as forward Amy Rodriguez was able to create some space on a run down the right flank. As she entered the penalty area, she split the Sky Blue FC back line and found a wide open Sarah Hagen on the far post. When the ball approached, Hagen was able to easily tap in a left-footed strike that gave the road side an early advantage.
The 34th minute almost saw FC Kansas City extend its lead to a pair of goals, beginning first with a critical diving save by goalkeeper Brittany Cameron of a Lauren Holiday shot. The rebound then landed at the feet of Rodriguez, who hammered a hard shot off the post.
Sky Blue FC was able to equalize this encounter in the 39th minute on a well-crafted goal that was set up from the midfield when Kelley O’Hara sent a ball over the top to a racing Kerr. The Australian striker then quickly collected before cutting through two defenders and firing a perfectly struck ball that hit the inside of the far post and ricocheted into the back of the net.
The level terms were short-lived, as FC Kansas City was able to reclaim the lead in the 42nd minute. On the scoring play, midfielder Heather O’Reilly sped down the right flank before chipping a ball across the mouth of the frame. There awaiting the distribution was Rodriguez, who was able to head it home and make the count 2-1.
In the 52nd minute, FC Kansas City was able to extend its lead to two goals when defender Becca Moros sent a ball forward that split two defenders and gave Rodriguez room to work. She took advantage of the opportunity, quickly collecting before striking a second tally away to increase the edge to 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
Sky Blue FC pulled back within a notch in the 73rd minute on a sequence that began off a corner kick taken by O’Hara. After eventually falling to her on top of the 18, midfielder Sarah Killion sent the ball back across the penalty area, where Kerr was able to rise above her defender to head it out of the reach of goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
The home team continued to battle for the equalizer over the final minutes of this match-up, but the 3-2 tally remained when the final whistle was blown.
Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City
September 2, 2015 – Yurcak Field
Piscataway, New Jersey
5 FCKC S.Hagen (A. Rodriguez)
39 SBFC S.Kerr (K.O’Hara)
42 FCKC A.Rodriguez (H.O’Reilly)
52 FCKC A.Rodriguez (R.Moros)
73 SBFC S.Kerr (S.Killion)
SBFC – Cameron, Foord, Rampone (C), Cutshall, Levin, O'Hara, Freels, Killion, Haagsma (Gordon-69), Filigno (Hayes-68), Kerr
Substitutes Not Used: Bledsoe, Lytle, Stanton, Nadim, Grubka
FCKC: Barnhart, Moros, Sauerbrunn, Bogus (Silva-79), Buczkowski, Rodriguez (Rodriguez-62), O'Reilly, Robinson, Holiday (Ladish-61), LePeilbet, Hagen
Substitutes Not Used: Rowland, Groom
90+ FCKC B.Sauerbrunn (Yellow Card)