Despite rookie goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan setting a club record for most recorded saves in a single National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) game, her stellar performance would not be enough for Sky Blue FC as the New Jersey side fell to the North Carolina Courage 2-0 on Wednesday night at WakeMed Soccer Park. Sheridan registered 11 saves off of Carolina’s 21 shots in the match.
The Courage opened the scoring in the 20th minute off a screamer from forward Lynn Williams. On the play, a ball was played through the midfield before finding Williams near the top of the penalty area. Defender Christie Pearce gave Williams enough space to take a few touches towards the box and then strike the ball with her right foot to place a powerful shot into the opposite side netting for her third goal of the 2017 campaign.
North Carolina would find the back of the net again in the 42nd minute to extend its lead into halftime. The goal was the end result of a corner kick sequence. Forward Jessica McDonald headed the initial corner towards Sheridan, who was able to block the ball with her feet for a save. Midfielder Sam Mewis followed the rebound and saw her shot blocked by Sky Blue FC midfielder Sarah Killion on the goal line, and Mewis was able to convert off the deflection to give her club a 2-0 advantage. The score would remain the same at the final whistle, and the Courage continue to reign at the top of the NWSL table.
The Canada international was the bright spot in what felt like a long match for Sky Blue FC. One of her most impressive saves came in the 57th minute when she found herself in a 1v1 situation with Courage midfielder Debinha. Debinha found herself all alone near the top of the box and quickly penetrated towards the goal. However, Sheridan came off her line and was able to tackle the ball cleanly away from the Brazilian midfielder before collecting the ball with her hands.
Sheridan’s 11 saves are an NWSL club record for Sky Blue FC. The all-time mark is held by Karen Bardsley, who recorded 13 saves on May 9, 2010 against the Atlanta Beat in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) action.
Sky Blue FC returns to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 27, to host the Orlando Pride. The New Jersey club is currently unbeaten at home, and will look to continue its streak against the Pride.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. North Carolina Courage
Date: May 24, 2017
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, North Carolina
Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy
NJ: 0 | 0 – 1
NC: 2 | 0 – 2
20 NC Lynn Williams
41 NC Samantha Mewis
NJ: Sheridan, Mills, Freeman, Pearce, Skroski, Stanton (Hayes-73), Killion, Galton, Corboz (Rodriguez-65), O’Hara, Meehan (Kerr-55)
Subs not used: Casey, Simon, Lytle, Tiernan
Head Coach: Christy Holly
NC: Rowland, Hawamura, Erceg, Dahlkemper, Hinkle (Witteman-77), Zerboni, Mewis, Smith (Doniak-65), Debinha, Williams, McDonald (Hatch-70)
Subs Not Used: D’Angelo, Rosana, Hamilton, Speck
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Stats Summary: NC / NJ
Shots: 21 / 2
Saves: 2 / 11
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 12
Offside: 1 / 0
26 NC Abby Erceg (Yellow Card)
47 NJ Sarah Killion (Yellow Card)
59 NJ Nikki Stanton (Yellow Card)
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Wooten
Assistant Referee 2: Gregory Brigman
Fourth Official: Javier Rodriguez