North Carolina Courage Halts Sky Blue FC Winning Streak at Two Games, 2-0
Sky Blue FC (3-3-1, 10 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Wednesday, falling to the first-place North Carolina Courage (5-2-0, 15 points) at WakeMed Soccer Park, 2-0. Putting forth a stellar performance in net for Sky Blue FC was goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who broke the club’s NWSL record by registering 11 saves. The outing also led to her receiving Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match honors.
North Carolina opened the scoring tonight in the 20th minute. On that sequence, a ball was played through the midfield before finding Lynn Williams on top of the penalty area. Seeing just a bit of space in front of her, Williams immediately stepped into a powerful right-footed strike that hit the left-side netting and gave the Courage an early lead, 1-0.
Late in the first half, Sky Blue FC found itself on the wrong side of a dangerous series that initially resulted in Sheridan pushing out two shots for consecutive corner kicks. When the ball was sent into the area on the second try, North Carolina midfielder Samantha Mewis saw a shot deflected by Sheridan and defender Erica Skroski on the left post. Unfortunately for the visiting side, Mewis was there for the rebound and put it away to give the Courage a 2-0 advantage.
As mentioned, a huge bright spot for Sky Blue FC this evening was the incredible play of Sheridan in net. In no situation was her attitude greater than in the 57th minute when she found herself in a 1v1 situation with North Carolina midfielder Debinha, who carried the ball into the penalty area with no one but Sheridan to beat. The Canada international then aggressively came off her line and quickly smothered the ball to end the run by Fabinha, keeping her team in the match.
As Sky Blue FC continued to seek scoring opportunities on the offensive end, Sheridan continued to turn away shots in the defensive third. By the time this contest concluded, she had made 11 saves and faced a total of 21 shots.
The 11 saves by Sheridan are an NWSL club record for Sky Blue FC. The all-time mark is held by Karen Bardsley, who had a 13-save performance on 5/9/10 against the Atlanta Beat in Women’s Professional Soccer action.
Sky Blue FC now returns home to Yurcak Field this Saturday, May 27, hosting Brazilian star Marta and the Orlando Pride. Kickoff for that match is slated for 7:00 p.m., and tickets are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
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. North Carolina Courage
Date: May 24, 2016
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, North Carolina
Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy
NJ: 0 | 0 – 1
NC: 2 | 0 – 2
20 NC Lynn Williams
41 NC Samantha Mewis
NJ: Sheridan, Mills, Freeman, Pearce, Skroski, Stanton (Hayes-73), Killion, Galton, Corboz (Rodriguez-65), O’Hara, Meehan (Kerr-55)
Subs not used: Casey, Simon, Lytle, Tiernan
Head Coach: Christy Holly
NC: Rowland, Hawamura, Erceg, Dahlkemper, Hinkle (Witteman-77), Zerboni, Mewis, Smith (Doniak-65), Debinha, Williams, McDonald (Hatch-70)
Subs Not Used: D’Angelo, Rosana, Hamilton, Speck
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Stats Summary: NC / NJ
Shots: 21 / 2
Saves: 2 / 11
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 12
Offside: 1 / 0
26 NC Abby Erceg (Yellow Card)
47 NJ Sarah Killion (Yellow Card)
59 NJ Nikki Stanton (Yellow Card)
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Wooten
Assistant Referee 2: Gregory Brigman
Fourth Official: Javier Rodriguez
Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match: Kailen Sheridan