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Sky Blue FC draws Seattle Reign FC to take the series

Sky Blue battled to a scoreless draw with the Reign on the team's annual Pride Night.

Christie Rampone on top of her game last night, as nothing made it past her
Christie Rampone on top of her game last night, as nothing made it past her
Robyn McNeil (ISI Photos)

Sky Blue FC (2-3-4, 10 pts) took on the Seattle Reign FC (3-3-3, 12 pts) for the last time this season, but both teams came up empty. At the final whistle, the game was tied 0-0.

That result is not from the lack of quality play from both sides though. Within the first two minutes, Sky Blue definitely gave Seattle a run for their money, but Seattle soon responded. There was some wonderful footwork coming from Sky Blue FC, creating a back and forth with the Seattle Reign. Both teams attempts shots on goal, but both went just wide of the net.

Midfielder Taylor Lytle took a shot for Sky Blue in the 12th minute, but it hit the crossbar and back into play. Lytle regained control of the ball and shot again, but Solo easily saved it. Sky Blue came back with some great moves to regain and keep control of the ball, preventing it from going out of bounds in tight squeezes.

Goalkeeper Caroline Stanley made two back-to-back saves in the 17th minute when Kim Little broke past the Sky Blue back line and into space. After the shot bounced around in the goal area a few times, defender Kristin Grubka finally got a foot on it and cleared it from danger.

In the 31st minute, Leah Galton centered the ball in front of the goal, but no one from Sky Blue was there to collect. Kelley O'Hara took a shot on goal in the 37th minute, but Solo once again was there to save it.

Kim DeCesare was out of play for a few minutes to tend to a leg injury, but returned shortly thereafter although she never seemed to be at 100 percent the remainder of her time on the field.

Towards the end of the half, Kelly Conheeney received a ball from Lytle, but her header bounced into the top of the net. Seattle next made an attempt on goal, but Stanley expertly caught it.

One minute of stoppage time was added to the first half, but when the halftime whistle blew, the game remained scoreless.

Tasha Kai subbed in for DeCesare in the 51st minute as DeCesare seemed to be struggling after her earlier injury.

Galton then made a nice pass to Conheeney, but she was unable to make the finish in the 51st minute.

In the 54th minute, Galton received a ball from Skroski and took a shot on goal goal, but Solo saved it once again. Seattle forward Beverly Yanez then fired a shot off in the 58th minute, but Stanley punched it over the crossbar to prevent Seattle from going on the board.

In the 64th minute, Erin Simon was subbed in for Kelly Conheeney. Simon moved back to replace O'Hara at left back, and O'Hara shifted up into Conheeney's spot in the midfield for the first time all season. Shortly thereafter, O'Hara put the ball in the back of the net off a header from Kai, but the goal did not stand as O'Hara was called off-sides.

In the 71st minute, Carson Pickett and Kristen Dallstream replaced Havana Solaun and Merritt Mathais for the Reign respectively. O'Hara passed to Kai who made an attempt, but Solo once again was there to stop it. Moments later, in the 74th minute, Galton ran the ball in and earned Sky Blue another corner kick, but it went the other way after a whistle inside the box.

In the 75th minute, Dallstream tried to put the ball in the net, but it went past the far post and out of play. Seattle midfielder Kim Little then ended up in a 1 v 1 with Stanley, but captain Christie Rampone quickly stripped Little of the ball and cleared it from danger.

In the 83rd minute, Lindsay Elston subbed in for Seattle's captain Keelin Winters and two minutes later, Galton went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury in the center circle. Galton was escorted off the pitch by the training staff and Kai, and Shawna Gordon was subbed in to replace her.

Four minutes were added to the second half, and both teams seemed desperate to score a last-minute game winner. However, both teams came up empty, and the final score was 0-0.

Despite the lack of goals or a win for Sky Blue FC, head coach Christy Holly was pleased with his team's overall performance but not necessarily the result it got them.

"We had a much better level of consistency throughout this entire performance," Holly said. "However, we are not content and will never settle for one point. Day by day and week by week, we continue to play much better, and that is a credit to everyone within our roster. We have developed a great cohesion amongst the group, and we know that we will begin to be rewarded with three points as we progress forward."

Sunday night was also Sky Blue's annual Pride Night. In addition to the scheduled events for Pride Night, the teams also observed a moment of silence and in the 49th minute, fans stood and clapped for 49 seconds to honor the victims of the June 12 shooting in Orlando.

Next Saturday, June 25, Sky Blue FC travels to the Maryland SoccerPlex to take on the third-ranked Washington Spirit in the second of four regular season matches.

Sky Blue FC Lineup: Caroline Stanley; Kelley O'Hara, Kristin Grubka, Christie Rampone(C), Erica Skroski; Raquel Rodriguez, Sarah Killion, Leah Galton (Shawna Gordon, 87'), Kelly Conheeney (Erin Simon, 84'); Taylor Lytle, Kim DeCesare (Tasha Kai, 51')

Subs Not Used- Caroline Casey, Coco Goodson, Nikki Stanton

Head Coach: Christy Holly

Seattle Reign FC Lineup: Hope Solo; Lauren Barnes, Kendall Fletcher, Rachel Corsie, Elli Reed; Kim Little, Jessica Fishlock, Keelin Winters (C) (Lindsay Elston, 82');Beverly Yanez, Merritt Mathias (Kristen Dallstream, 70'), Havana Solaun (Carson Pickett, 70')

Available Subs: Paige Neilson, Michelle Cruz, Haley Kopmeyer

Head Coach: Laura Harvey