There was no miraculous comeback in stoppage time tonight. No last-second penalty kicks by Nadia Nadim. In fact, there was no Nadim at all.
Two goals in the first half set the tone early for the Seattle Reign and the Sky Blue FC had virtually no answers as the home team won, 3-0, in Week 9 of the National Women's Soccer League action.
And the best news for the Sky Blue FC is there a three-week break for the group round of the Women's World Cup. Which leaves plenty of time to regroup, and especially come up with some offensive firepower. The loss extends Sky Blue's winless streak to eight games with a record of 1-3-4. Seattle improved to 3-2-2 (11 points).
Midfielder Jessica Fishlock proved to be a handful for the usually tight Sky Blue FC defense. She roamed all over the field for most of the game, involved in many Reign offensive frays and had a hand in both first-half goals.
Just 8 minutes into the match, Fishlock moved in and passed to her running mate, Keelin Winters, who has making an overlapping inside run. Unmarked, Winters calmly slotted a shot past Brittany Cameron for an early lead.
Under 20 minutes later, Seattle striker Beverly Yanez came into the penalty area and hit a shot that beat Cameron, but outside back Maya Hayes cleared off the line for a corner. Stephanie Cox floated a strong corner into the area and Fishlock made no mistake and doubled the lead for Seattle.
As usual, Cameron played a strong game, keeping the Sky Blue FC in the match with her aggressive play.
Sky Blue had a chance to cut the lead in half when Lindsi Cutshall served a ball over the top for Meg Morris. Morris ran onto it and beat goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer to the right side but the ball banged off the post.
Seattle removed any doubt of a Sky Blue comeback in the 76th minute. Kim Little blasted a free kick from 25 yards out and Sky Blue FC committed a handball. Little took the spot kick and made no double, nailing it in the upper corner.
Fishlock and Little led the way for Seattle possession the rest of the way as the Sky Blue FC had nothing left in the second half and put up little fight the rest of the way. Only more acrobatic saves from Cameron kept the score as close as it was.
Noticeably absent from the lineup was Nadim. She was not in the starting lineup and listed as probable with an injury. She never got off the bench with Shawna Gordon and Kim DeCesare playing up front with little to show.
1. There needs to be an offensive plan: Nadim's electric play at the tail end of last year hasn't materialized. She scored once from the field in the season-opener and another on penalty against Seattle a month ago. Sky Blue FC needs to get her a running mate that is effective running off the ball.
2. Results are needed: Draws aren't going to cut it going into the rest of the season. Three points are a must if SBFC are going to move up the table.
3. Cameron is a season-saver: The goalkeeper leads the league in both saves and minutes. She has held down was is left of the fort.