Photo by Daniel Bartel, ISI Photos.
Madison Tiernan Scores First NWSL Goal in 2-1 Loss to Chicago
Sky Blue FC (5-5-1, 16 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Sunday, falling to the Chicago Red Stars (6-2-2, 20 points) at Toyota Park, 2-1. Sky Blue FC scored early when Madison Tiernan finished a Taylor Lytle corner kick in the 3rd minute, but Chicago rallied with two second-half goals to hang the final tally.
“We are very disappointed in the outcome of this game,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We played fairly well in the first half and created multiple opportunities, but we made too many poor decisions on the ball in the second half. This was not a performance that matches our ability. Now we just have to put it behind us and make sure we give our fans in New Jersey something to cheer about on Wednesday night.”
After Raquel Rodriguez broke the NWSL record by scoring a Sam Kerr feed 24 seconds into last weekend’s match in Portland, Sky Blue FC struck early once again in this contest. The sequence started in the 3rd minute when Kerr played McKenzie Meehan into the penalty area, and Meehan battled to earn a Sky Blue FC corner kick. Midfielder Taylor Lytle sent a cross into the box on the ensuing corner, where Tiernan aggressively went high to redirect a tough header into the back of the net. The goal was the first in the professional career of the New Jersey native.
After gaining the early advantage, Sky Blue FC did well throughout the first half to hold off the hard-charging Red Stars. The Sky Blue FC back line and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan were tested in their defensive third, but the group rose to the occasion and had preserved its 1-0 lead when the whistle was blown for intermission.
In the 63rd minute, Chicago was finally able to break through on the offensive end. On the play, midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo worked her way into space just atop the 18-yard box before striking a hard shot that leveled the match at one apiece.
Chicago then acquired the lead for the first time in the 67th minute after defender Casey Short was able to go on a run before dishing to Sofia Huerta inside the penalty area. After gathering the ball, Huerta turned on a shot that split two defenders and made it a 2-1 game.
Facing its first deficit of the evening, Sky Blue FC fought to find an equalizer, but the Red Stars were able to keep the New Jersey outfit off the board the rest of the way. When the final whistle was blown, Sky Blue FC found itself on the unfavorable side of a 2-1 result.
Sky Blue FC will now return home to Yurcak Field this Wednesday, June 28, hosting the Orlando Pride for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Individual tickets for that match 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. Chicago Red Stars
Date: June 25, 2016
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
Weather: 70 degrees, partly cloudy
NJ: 1 | 0 - 1
CHI: 0 | 2 - 2
3 NJ Madison Tiernan (Taylor Lytle)
63 CHI Vanessa DiBernardo
67 CHI Sofia Huerta (Casey Short)
NJ: Sheridan, Mills, Freeman, Pearce, Simon (Skroski-53), Killion, Lytle (Corboz-71), Rodriguez (Hayes-87), Meehan, Kerr, Tiernan
Subs not used: Casey, Richardson, DeCesare, O’Hara
Head Coach: Christy Holly
CHI: Naeher, Short, Johnson, Naughton, Gilliland, Ertz, Colaprico (Comeau-76), Huerta, DiBernardo, Press, Hoy (Mautz-46)
Subs Not Used: Green, Kaskie, McCaffrey, Dalton, Gorden
Head Coach: Mark Parsons
Stats Summary: CHI / NJ
Shots: 12 / 8
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 4 / 1
Referee: Karen Abt
Assistant Referee 1: TJ Zablocki
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Calin Radosav
Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match: Madison Tiernan