Sky Blue FC played its first preseason match of 2017 on Saturday, beating St. John’s University 3-1 off of tallies from Maya Hayes, Kelley O’Hara and Sarah Killion.
“We are delighted to get the first preseason game under our belt,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly in a team press release. “St. John’s always presents us with strong opposition, and they gave us different challenges throughout the game. It was good to see some combinations come together, as well as the connections that we have been looking to establish over the last couple of weeks. There is definitely some refinement that we want to do in the final third, but we are off to a good start. We are excited for what is yet to come.”
St John’s got on the board first, taking advantage of a Sky Blue FC turnover and securing the lead in just the 6th minute of the match. Forward Christina Bellero collected the ball at midfield and turned to goal. SBFC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was playing high off her line, and Bellero was able to capitalize by chipping the ball over Sheridan’s head and into the back of the net.
The lead would be short-lived as the New Jersey squad was able to equalize in the 12th minute. After receiving a pass from Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez, O’Hara played Hayes at the top of the 18, where Hayes then back heeled the ball to Daphne Corboz. Once the feed arrived, Corboz quickly passed it back to Hayes, who was making a run to the far post. The New Jersey native then one-timed a shot into the left-side netting.
Two minutes later, Sky Blue FC converted again to take the lead for the first time of the match. Defender Kayla Mills dribbled the ball up the right flank and delivered a well-placed cross into the box. O’Hara immediately finished off the feed for the go-ahead goal in the 14th minute to make the score 2-1 in SBFC’s favor.
The final tally of the match came in the 43rd minute off the foot of Killion. O’Hara gathered the ball on the right flank and was quickly facing triple coverage. She then sent the ball towards the middle of the box where an attempted clearance by the Red Storm defense resulted in a pop-up that landed near Killion. The crafty midfielder chested the ball down before hitting an incredible bender with the outside of her right foot between the pipes.
The finish by Killion made it 3-1, and SBFC would not relinquish its two-goal advantage for the rest of the game.
Sky Blue FC’s next preseason match will take place on Saturday, April 1 as the NJ side hosts the University of North Carolina. The game will take place at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J. with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. Admission for the game will be free.
NWSL Preseason Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. St. John’s University
Date: March 25, 2017
Venue: Belson Stadium; Queens, New York
Weather: 46 degrees, rainy
SBFC: 3|0 - 3
SJU: 1|0 - 1
6 SJU C.Bellero
12 NJ M.Hayes (D.Corboz)
14 NJ K.O’Hara (K.Mills)
43 NJ S.Killion
SBFC: K.Sheridan, K.Mills, C.Rampone, M.Freeman, E.Skroski, S.Killion, R.Rodriguez, D.Corboz, K.O’Hara, L.Galton, M.Hayes
Second Half Substitutions: C.Casey, T.Lytle, N.Stanton, E.Simon, D.Richardson, D.Schulmann, K.Conheeney, K.DeCesare, M.Tiernan, C.Atanda, C. Benintente
Head Coach: Christy Holly