Photo by Daniel Bartel, ISI Photos.
Sky Blue FC and Chicago Red Stars Battle to 1-1 Result at Toyota Park
All signs are showing that Sky Blue FC (2-3-2, 8 points) has found a gem in British international Leah Galton, who hammered an equalizing goal against the Chicago Red Stars (4-1-2, 14 points) in the second half on Sunday night. The match, which was played at Toyota Park, eventually played out to a 1-1 result, with Sky Blue FC picking up a critical road point.
“Overall, I am happy with the performance,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “Our team bounced back from last week’s result and showed tremendous character, resolve and desire. They gave a very accurate representation of how well they can play in this match. We were able to dominate for large parts of the game, and this result is a testament to every single player on our team because Chicago is a very difficult place to leave with anything. These players truly deserve all of the credit tonight.”
Both teams held defensive form over the first half-hour of this contest until Chicago midfielder Danielle Colaprico gathered a ball in the midfield in the 34th minute. After looking up, she spotted forward Sofia Huerta splitting two defenders and fed a through-ball to her in space, creating a 1v1 situation with Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. Huerta then touched to her right to create some room before firing a right-footed shot inside the far post, making it 1-0 in favor of the home club.
Holly made two strategic substitutions after the second half got underway, bringing goal-scoring threats Galton and Tasha Kai onto the pitch, which quickly helped Sky Blue FC make some noise on the offensive end of the field.
In the 72nd minute, Sky Blue FC cashed in on the move, making good on a series that started at the feet of midfielder Taylor Lytle on the right flank. Lytle touched into space before sending a ball across the mouth of the frame, where it split two Red Stars defenders and fell in front of Galton. The British international quickly collected before rifling a shot that went beyond the reach of Chicago netminder Michele Dalton, registering her first professional goal and leveling the tally at one notch each.
Galton continued to wreak havoc inside the Red Stars box and create opportunities for her club, with the entire New Jersey side performing at a high level of energy. Both teams sought after a go-ahead score, but the final whistle would blow with the count still even at one apiece.
After the conclusion of this contest, Pine Belt of Lakewood Player of the Match accolades were presented to Galton.
Sky Blue FC will be off next weekend before returning home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, June 11th, hosting FC Kansas City at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that match are available now.
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NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: May 29, 2016
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 83 degrees, partly cloudy
NJ: 0 1 - 1
CHI: 1 0 - 1
CHI 34 Sofia Huerta (Danielle Colaprico)
NJ 72 Leah Galton (Taylor Lytle)
NJ: Stanley; Simon, Skroski, Rampone (C), Grubka; Lytle, Conheeney, Rodriguez, Killion, Gordon (Galton-54); DeCesare (Kai-64, Stanton-89)
Subs not used: Casey, Goodson, Diederich
Head Coach: Christy Holly
CHI: Dalton, Gilliland, Naughton, Johnson, Short, Colaprico (Raetzman-88), DiBernardo, Mautz (Walls-72), DaCosta (Comeau-64), Hoy, Huerta
Subs not used: Gorden, Luba, Flaws, Smallidge
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Stats Summary: NJ / CHI
Shots: 8 / 7
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 3 / 2
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referee 1: Maggie Short
Assistant Referee 2: Becky Pagan
Fourth Official: Alex Beehler
Pine Belt of Lakewood Player of the Match: Leah Galton