Goalkeeper Jenni Branam recorded the shutout for Sky Blue FC (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Sky Blue FC Draws Even with Boston Breakers, 0-0
Sky Blue FC (2-3-3, 9 points) had some good chances throughout the 90 minutes of action on Sunday night against the Boston Breakers (3-5-2, 11 points), but the end result of a hard fought match would be a scoreless draw. With the result, Sky Blue FC increased its franchise record unbeaten streak to four consecutive matches, keeping the season series with the Breakers level at 1-1-1.
Sky Blue FC created some good opportunities early, and the team likely would have gotten on the board quickly had it not been for some impressive goalkeeping by Boston netminder Alyssa Naeher. The best chance for the home team came in the sixth minute when English international Eniola Aluko fed a ball from the left flank to a streaking Laura Kalmari on the right side of the penalty area. The Finnish striker then one-touched the ball for a 1v1 situation with Naeher, but her shot attempt was saved by a diving deflection from the Breakers goalkeeper.
A yellow card was issued in this match in the 21st minute when Sky Blue FC netminder Jenni Branam aggressively came to the top of the penalty area to stop a run by Boston defender Alex Scott. When she stepped just outside the box, she and Scott collided, which resulted in the booking.
While the attempts may not have ended with goals, Sky Blue FC continued to create opportunities for itself in the opening half, with Aluko and Kalmari at the forefront of the attack. However, Naeher was able to keep the slate clean for Boston, and Branam and the Sky Blue FC defense matched those efforts on the other end of the field. When the whistle was blown for halftime, the 0-0 tally remained.
In the 55th minute of this match, Sky Blue FC nearly broke the deadlock on a play that started with a steal in the back by defender Anita Asante. The English international then took off with the ball at her feet, traveling the entire distance of the field before she found Adriana on the left side of the box. The Spanish striker then fired an attempt in the direction of the goal, but Naeher was able to handle the shot.
After checking in for her professional debut, midfielder Alyssa Mautz came within a few inches of putting her side on the scoreboard in the waning minutes of action. She first received a ball on the right side of the frame in the 87th minute before firing a strike just wide, and she then delivered a hard shot from over 40 yards out that was a touch high. That aggressive demeanor was continued by Mautz and the rest of the home club the remainder of the way, including a shot by captain Brittany Taylor that hit the crossbar and a near finish of a corner kick by defender Kendall Fletcher, but a scoreless draw would ultimately be the outcome of this contest.
Sky Blue FC will return home to Yurcak Field on Wednesday, June 22nd, to host the Atlanta Beat. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m., and tickets for that contest are available now.
ResVideo: Sky Blue FC Head Coach Jim Gabarra