Sky Blue FC took on the Seattle Reign on Saturday night at Yurcak Field in New Jersey, the first meeting between the two teams in NWSL's short history. Sky Blue was looking for a win four days after grabbing a late lead and then giving up an even later equalizer against Chicago. Seattle, meanwhile, came to New Jersey winless in its first four, with only one point on the season - an opening weekend draw with the Red Stars. Kelley O'Hara returned to the starting lineup for Sky Blue and her presence seemed to be just the lift the Jersey side needed. Danesha Adams and Lisa De Vanna both scored for Sky Blue in the first half and Brittany Cameron kept the clean sheet to preserve the win and send Sky Blue into second on the table.
Just three minutes in O'Hara made her presence felt, sending a low shot just wide of goal. The Sky Blue striker/occasional defender missed the first half of Wednesday's match due to a calf strain, but on Saturday O'Hara was back at full strength and it showed. A more cohesive offense kept the Reign on its toes for much of the half. O'Hara had another shot go wide in the 9th minute, as Seattle struggled to get out of its own half.
In the 16th minute, the Reign's continuing dfficulty with clearing the ball was nearly disastrous. De Vanna's attempt at a shot from just about the six deflected to a nearby Sophie Schmidt, but her close range effort was too soft and caused little trouble for Seattle keeper Michelle Betos.
The disastrous defending wasn't all on Seattle though. Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron made a few curios choices, and her indecisiveness nearly cost gifted Seattle two goals in the first frame. The first came in the in the 19th, when Cameron came well off her line to leave an open net for Kiersten Dallstream. Dallstream though held the ball for just a second too long, giving both Cameron and Christie Rampone time to recover.
Sky Blue's pressure relented slightly as the half wore on, but it was still the home side that broke through first. At the half hour mark Danesha Adams collected a deflection from a Chrisite Rampone free kick near the top of the box and sent a shot back past Betos and in. The 30th minute goal was the first of the season for Adams, and the first of the season for any Sky Blue forward.
Five minutes late Sky Blue doubled the lead, this time on a goal from De Vanna. The Australian striker, who also tallied her first of the season, stripped the ball from Seattle's Kate Deines and was in alone on Betos, slotting her shot past the Seattle keeper in the 35th minute.
Seattle nearly cut Sky Blue's lead in half just before the break. In the 45th minute Cameron again came well off her line, but was again indecisive in just how far she wanted to challenge the oncoming Jess Fishlock. Fishlock beat Cameron and had only the open goal in front of her, but fired her shot wide, slipping as she shot.
Seattle returned from the break with an increased focus, but the Reign still couldn't break through. The visiting side finally got its best chance of the match in the 68th minute, but Cameron was able to make a point blank save on a close-range shot from Dallstream.
Sophie Schmidt, who has a goal in each of the last three matches for Sky Blue, looked to make it four in four, first sending a 71st minute header over the bar and then sending another wide in the 77th minute.
Seattle got one more chance as time wore down, but Taylor Lytle was able to head the 87th minute chance off the line to preserve the clean sheet.
For Cameron, it was her second clean sheet in five matches. The win, combined with a Boston draw and FC Kansas City suffering its first lost of the season, put Sky Blue FC into second on the table, even on points with the first place Portland Thorns, who have played one fewer game - the Thorns play Chicago Sunday night. Sky Blue will face the Thorns on Thusday night in Portland, the first in a two game Northwestern road trip, which will also include a visit to Seattle three days later. Sky Blue doesn't return to Yurcak Field until June 1st, taking on the Boston Breakers for the first time this season.