Sky Blue FC Suffers First Home Loss

Sky Blue wore pink kits in observance of PUMA's Project Pink (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
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Western New York Flash Handle Home Team, 2-0

Sky Blue FC (3-5-4, 13 points) saw its franchise record home unbeaten streak of six games come to an end on Sunday night at Yurcak Field, suffering a 2-0 defeat to the Western New York Flash (7-2-2, 23 points) in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) action. An own goal and a tally from second half substitute Beverly Goebel provided the two scores for Western New York on the evening, firmly cementing the team in second place on the WPS table.

Donning pink kits on observance of PUMA’s Project Pink initiative, Sky Blue FC engaged in a battle for possession throughout the opening half of this contest. The team did suffer a bit of a scare in the 34th minute when goalkeeper Jenni Branam was handed a yellow card for a hard foul on Flash striker Christine Sinclair just outside the 18-yard box. However, the ensuing free kick sailed high of the frame, preventing any significant damage from occurring after the infraction.

The home side received its first true scoring opportunity in the 37th minute after forward Casey Nogueira started a run from the left flank with the ball at her feet. Once she looked up, she saw a streaking Adriana down the center of the attack, and the two-time NCAA Player of the Year sent distribution forward. Adriana then ran onto the feed and past the defense, creating a 1v1 situation with Western New York netminder Ashlyn Harris. The Spanish striker then attempted to boot the ball wide of Harris, but the former Tar Heel was able to make a diving save of the shot.

A second yellow card was issued in this match in the 43rd minute, with Flash captain Becky Edwards being given the caution. On the play that resulted in the infraction, Edwards charged towards a shot that was bouncing to Branam, and she then ran into the Sky Blue FC goalkeeper after she scooped up the ball.

The second half of this match saw the battle for possession continue, and both sides were having a hard time of creating many scoring chances. The first notch of the match finally came in the 81st minute, with the Flash being the beneficiary of an own goal. Western New York defender Kandace Wilson attempted to place a shot on goal, and Sky Blue FC defender Carrie Dew tried to deflect the ball out of harm’s way. Unfortunately for the hosts, her clearance attempt redirected toward the Sky Blue FC goal, and it sailed over the head of Branam to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.

Western New York was then able to add on an insurance goal in the 87th minute, stretching the gap to 2-0 on a play that started off the foot of Sinclair. She sent a cross to the mouth of the goal, and there awaiting the feed was Goebel. The Flash midfielder was positioned perfectly to receive the cross, and she immediately sent it into the back of the net.

Sky Blue FC continued to fight as the waning minutes ticked off the clock, but the host team was unable to get on the board. After 90 minutes of action had concluded, Western New York found itself a 2-0 victor.

Next up for Sky Blue FC is a home match on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., with the team hosting the Philadelphia Independence.

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