Sky Blue FC’s (4-3-1, 13 points) third game at Yurcak Field saw yet another late game-winner for the home crowd on Saturday night as the New Jersey club defeated the Orlando Pride (2-3-2, 8 points) 2-1 off an 82nd minute finish from forward Maya Hayes.
The Pride opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Marta was able to draw multiple defenders towards her before laying a pass back to teammate Camila, who was just outside the penalty area. Camila took two touches to her left before sending a pass up the middle towards a wide-open Jasmyne Spencer. Spencer took one touch to turn, then placed a low shot past rookie goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for the 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC equalized in the 43rd minute off a quick transition play. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez was able to dispossess Kristen Edmonds in the attacking third and redirect the ball towards Daphne Corboz. Corboz turned with the ball and penetrated forward towards goal. After drawing in two defenders, Corboz dished a pass to Sam Kerr. Kerr then ripped a shot past Orlando netminder Aubrey Bledsoe for her second goal of the 2017 campaign.
The New Jersey squad converted the game-winner in the 82nd minute of the contest off a play that started with a goal kick. Sheridan kicked the ball up the middle past the midline towards Kerr. Kerr was able to perfectly head the ball up the field towards a racing Hayes, who used her body to get in front of Pride defender Alanna Kennedy and into the path of Kerr’s flick. Hayes took a touch to her right, and then slotted the ball past Bledsoe into the lower left corner of the net to secure three points for her club.
The win marked Sky Blue FC’s third consecutive home victory of the season, the best start at Yurcak Field in franchise history. The last time Sky Blue FC had a winning record at home was the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) inaugural season in 2013. It’s also the only year SBFC has seen the NWSL playoffs so far.
The New Jersey side will return to action on Saturday, June 3 at Yurcak Field when the club hosts Portland Thorns FC. Kickoff for the match is slated at 7:00 p.m. ET.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Orlando Pride
Date: May 27, 2016
Venue: Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
Weather: 68 degrees, sunny
NJ: 1 | 1 - 2
ORL: 1 | 0 - 1
18 ORL Jasmyne Spencer (Camila)
43 NJ Sam Kerr (Daphne Corboz)
82 NJ Maya Hayes (Sam Kerr)
NJ: Sheridan, Simon, Freeman, Pearce, Skroski (Mills-55), Tiernan (Galton-75), Killion, Rodriguez, Kerr, Hayes, Corboz (Meehan-55)
Subs not used: Casey, Lytle, Richardson, Stanton
Head Coach: Christy Holly
ORL: Bledsoe, Catley, Pressley, Kennedy, Krieger, Camila, Weatherholt (M.Evans-72), Edmonds (D.Evans-75), Spencer, Fields (Monica-60), Marta
Subs Not Used: Stanley, Burkenroad, Alleway, Driesse
Head Coach: Tom Sermanni
Stats Summary: NJ / ORL
Shots: 10 / 11
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 2 / 1
Referee: Robi Nullner
Assistant Referee 1: John Krill
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Amber O’Connor