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Sky Blue FC hopes to put together complete game -- and get three points

New Jersey squad hopes to get back in the win column against Houston Dash Sunday

Photo by Robyn McNeil

Maybe, just maybe, the Sky Blue FC are starting to put the pieces together for a complete game that ends up with three points in the positive side of the ledger.

They’ve had games where they were dominated and won – well, they had one of those against Kansas City in the season opener – and they had games where the defense, especially goalkeeper Brittany Cameron, kept them in games. And then they’ve had games where they dominated and lost or tied.

But Sky Blue FC is still looking for that complete game that ends in victory. And it just could be that Sunday when the Houston Dash come to Rutgers for a 3 p.m. kickoff at Yurcak Field.

The Dash provides its own challenge. Last week, Houston used a goal from Jessica McDonald and stellar goalkeeping by National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Week 7 Player of the Week Brianca Henninger to beat the Portland Thorns, 1-0.

Henninger had eight saves and recorded her second shutout of the season in the road victory – the first ever over Portland. Houston comes in a 2-2-2 with 8 points.

Sky Blue FC (1-3-3) are coming off a 1-1 draw with Boston. It was a match where Sky Blue dominated the hosts but could only score once. Sky Blue FC controlled play for most of the match, especially the first half and took a 1-0 lead into the second half. At the 60 minute mark, Stephanie McCaffrey left-footed a shot after Sky Blue couldn’t clear the ball to even the score. Meg Morris came off the bench in the second half and hit a rocket that banged off the crossbar and slammed straight down, appearing to cross the line. However, game officials said no and the draw was in the books.

Houston and Sky Blue FC played to a 1-1 draw in New Jersey on April 18. Katy Freels scored for Sky Blue FC in the first half and McDonald scored the equalizer in the second half.

Sunday is Go Pink Day. Sky Blue FC will wear special pink jerseys to raise awareness about the importance of mammography as early detection against breast cancer. Fans are encouraged to wear pink as well. Sky Blue travels to Seattle on June 6 before the break for the Women’s World Cup.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Nadia Nadim needs to get on the board. The Danish international has been getting more room lately and making things happen but hasn’t scored from the run of play since the season-opener against FC Kansas City.

2. That second forward needs to emerge. Katy Freels has done a good job as an attacking midfielder but is best from long rance. They need someone who can be a running mate for Nadim. Shawna Gordon has had her moments. Morris is coming back from an injury and looked good in limited time.

3. Another solid effort from the defense. Cami Levin, rookie Kristin Grubka, Lindsi Cutshall and converted striker Maya Hayes continue to be a cohesive unit. Goalkeeper Brittany Cameron has been stellar.