Photo by John Reiger, ISI Photos.
New Jersey Club Falls 2-1 in Road Match at Swope Soccer Village
Sky Blue FC (6-7-4, 22 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Sunday night, falling to FC Kansas City (5-8-4, 19 points) at Swope Soccer Village, 2-1. Australia international Sam Kerr opened the scoring in this contest for Sky Blue FC, but host FC Kansas City was able to respond with a pair of goals to earn the win.
“We are obviously very disappointed with the outcome tonight,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We did not truly play to our potential, which ultimately led to the result. The good thing is we can quickly put this one behind us. We will get right back on the field this Wednesday and continue to push towards our season goals.”
Sky Blue FC had its first legitimate opportunity in the 22nd minute, as forward Leah Galton collected possession before racing down the left flank. She then cut inside and played Kerr as she entered the area, but her ensuing shot attempt was collected by FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
The scoreless deadlock was eventually broken in the 40th minute. On that scoring sequence, Sky Blue FC captain Christie Rampone collected in the middle of the park before playing a ball forward to defender Erin Simon on the left flank. Simon then one-timed a hard roller to Kerr on top of the 18, and she quickly hammered a right-footed strike past a diving Barnhart that shredded the right upper 90. With the tally, Sky Blue FC saw itself with a 1-0 advantage.
Unfortunately for the New Jersey side, their lead would be short-lived. As the match entered first half stoppage time, FC Kansas City midfielder Heather O’Reilly collected a feed on the right corner of the penalty area and quickly turned on a shot towards the goal. The ball was then deflected before landing at the feet of forward Tiffany McCarty in front of the left post, where she was able to tap in the equalizer just seconds before the halftime whistle.
The second half saw some highly competitive back-and-forth action between the two clubs, with both defensive thirds being forced to make some aggressive stops.
In the 78th minute, Sky Blue FC nearly regained the lead on a play where defender Erica Skroski pressed forward with the ball before sending a cross into the box. On the play, Tasha Kai dummied the feed for Kerr, who stepped into a hard strike that forced a tough save from Barnhart.
In the end, it was FC Kansas City that was able to find the game-winner. In the 85th minute, the hosts saw midfielder Yael Averbuch take a free kick from about 35 yards out, and she stepped into a rifling shot that sailed beyond an extended Caroline Stanley to hang the eventual 2-1 final.
Sky Blue FC returns home to New Jersey next Wednesday, Sept. 7th, welcoming the Orlando Pride to Yurcak Field for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for that match are available now, and all fans who eat at Quaker Steak & Lube in Edison before the game will receive free parking for the match.
Flex and individual tickets for Sky Blue FC are on sale now! For any questions regarding tickets, call the Sky Blue FC tickets department at 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849), and a team representative will be happy to assist you.
For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, visit the team online and follow us on social media: @SkyBlueFC
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City
Date: September 4, 2016
Venue: Swope Soccer Village; Kansas City, Missouri
Weather: 71 degrees, partly cloudy
NJ: 1 0 - 1
KC: 1 1 - 2
40 Sam Kerr (Erin Simon)
45+ Tiffany McCarty
85 Yael Averbuch
NJ: Stanley; Skroski, Rampone, Grubka, Simon; Galton (Conheeney-84), Lytle (Hayes-76), Killion, Kerr; Kai, Rodriguez (Stanton)
Subs not used: Casey, Goodson, DeCesare
Head Coach: Christy Holly
KC: Barnhart, Taylor, Bowen, Sauerbrunn, Kastor (Tymrak-57, Silva-64), Laddish, Averbuch, O’Reilly, McCarty, Scott, Groom
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
43’ KC H.O’Reilly (Yellow)
NJ Tasha Kai (Yellow)
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Bermudez
Assistant Referee 2: Amber O’Connor
Fourth Official: Devin Blazek