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Sky Blue FC falls to Washington Spirit in home opener

Sky Blue FC takes tough loss in home opener against Washington Spirit, falling 2-1.

Sky Blue FC (1-1-0, 3 points) had their home opener of the 2016 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season on April 24, 2016, where they fell to the Washington Spirit (2-0-0, 6 points) 2-1 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, with Ali Krieger and Diana Matheson scoring goals for Washington, and Maya Hayes scoring her first goal of the season for Sky Blue FC.

Christy Holly, head coach for Sky Blue FC, said in a statement after the game, "It is disappointing that we were unable to open up our home schedule with a better performance and a result. We did not have good representation of what we are capable of doing tonight. We definitely had our moments in the game where we showed our level of play, but we were not consistent enough in terms of our decisions on the ball, and our decisions off the ball."

There was plenty of good back and forth action in the first half, but in the 40th minute, Washington scored their first goal, as midfielder dealt a ball to a racing Krieger on the right flank. Krieger quickly collected before seeing space ahead of her, driving a shot that sailed over the Sky Blue FC back line and slotted perfectly into the upper 90 giving Washington a 1-0 advantage.

The Spirit extended its lead to 2-0 in the second half, with the second goal coming at the 56th minute, where Crystal Dunn sent a hard roller to Diana Matheson on the left side of the penalty area. Sky Blue FC keeper, Caroline Casey, stepped out to stop the ball, but Matheson placed a ball under the gap and put the ball in the back of the net, giving her team another point.

Sky Blue FC finally got on the board in the 66th minute bringing the score to 2-1, scoring on a series started by Costa Rican international Raquel Rodriguez who sent the ball to Taylor Lytle, who split Washingtion's back line. After forward Tasha Kai made a dummy play on the ball, it was a touch by Maya Hayes who fed it under a diving Stephanie Labbe to bring the score back to a one-point differential.

Sky Blue FC remained on the attack for the last 25 minutes of play, creating a number of opportunities in the offensive end of the field. Labbe rose to the occasion for the Spirit to preserve it's one point lead, leaving the final score at 2-1 Washington.

Next week, Sky Blue FC heads to Houston to play The Dash. They return to Yurcak Field on Satyrday, May 7th to host Western New York Flash. Tickets available now.