Photo by Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos.
Sky Blue FC (7-8-2, 23 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Friday, suffering a 4-1 defeat to the Washington Spirit (4-8-3, 15 points) at Yurcak Field. Sky Blue FC went up 1-0 in the 2nd minute of this contest but allowed four unanswered goals in the second half to hang the final result.
“We are obviously very disappointed,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We opened this game well and created a lot of opportunities. Unfortunately, as the game progressed, we fell into a shell and made some bad decisions. We just have to learn and grow from this as we go forward in the season.”
Sky Blue FC wasted little time in opening its account tonight, scoring in just the 2nd minute of play. On that sequence, McKenzie Meehan split two defenders on the left flank before sending a ball across the mouth of the frame. Daphne Corboz stuck out her foot on the feed, redirecting it to the feet of Maya Hayes on the far post. Without hesitation, Hayes then struck the ball home to give her team a one-goal advantage.
In the 28th minute, Sky Blue FC nearly stretched its lead to a pair of goals, as Meehan raced into the area before firing a hard shot that forced a point-blank save by Stephanie Labbe. However, Meehan collected the rebound before playing Taylor Lytle on the left flank. Lytle then sent a cross towards the back post, where Nikki Stanton headed a ball just wide of the target.
Shortly after the intermission, Washington leveled this match in the 51st minute. On that series, Arielle Ship collected in the midfield before racing down the right flank. As she entered the penalty area, Ship drove her right foot into a hard shot that hit the far-side netting, making it a 1-1 contest.
In the 61st minute, Washington gained its first lead of the evening, as Ship raced past a defender before touching the ball beyond the reach of Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. Flanking to her left was Cheyna Williams, who ran onto the near post and finished the loose ball to make it 2-1 in favor of the Spirit.
Washington made it three in a row in the 73rd minute, with Meggie Dougherty-Howard intercepting a goal kick in the midfield before playing Ship. The duo then started a run towards goal, and Ship fed the ball back to Dougherty-Howard as she arrived at the top of the penalty area. Splitting a couple of defenders with her ensuing shot, she found the back of net to put up a 3-1 tally.
In the 87th minute, the Spirit finished off this game after Dougherty Howard went down in the box for a Washington penalty attempt. Stepping over the try was Havana Solaun, who scored it to hang a final score of 4-1.
Next up for Sky Blue FC is a road match with the Orlando Pride next Saturday night. The team returns home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, August 19, to host Seattle Reign FC 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. Washington Spirit
Date: August 4, 2017
Venue: Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
NJ: 1 | 0 - 1
WAS: 0 | 4 - 4
2 NJ Maya Hayes (Daphne Corboz)
51 WAS Arielle Ship
61 WAS Cheyna Williams (Arielle Ship)
73 WAS Meggie Dougherty Howard (Arielle Ship)
87 WAS Havan Solaun (Penalty Kick)
NJ: Sheridan, Richardson, Skroski, Pearce, Stanton (Tiernan-66), Corboz, Rodriguez, Killion, Lytle, Meehan, Hayes (Kai-71)
Subs not used: Casey, Mills, Freeman
Head Coach: Christy Holly
WAS: Labbe, Church, Kallman, Johnson, Dyadasco, Huster, Solaun, Howard, Mewis (Kleiner-76), Ship (Agnew-84), Williams (Farquaharson-89)
Subs Not Used: Aedo, Haracic, Zadorsky
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: NJ / WAS
Shots: 8 / 23
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 0 / 10
Fouls: 3 / 10
Offside: 5 / 0
51 WAS Whitney Church (Yellow Card)
Referee: Gustavo Solorio
Assistant Referee 1: Gjovalin
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Vazquez
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo