Sky Blue FC (1-2-1, 4 points) seemed to find its offensive flow in Week 4 of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) play, but ultimately found itself on the wrong side of a seven-goal battle against the Washington Spirit (1-2-1, 4 points) on May 6 by a score of 4-3. Midfielder Sarah Killion recorded a brace on the night, while forward Kelley O’Hara scored a goal and added an assist.
“We are extremely disappointed to come away from a game with a loss after scoring three goals,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We had too many lapses in concentration defensively, and we paid for it. Despite the outcome, we will look to focus on the positives that we can take away from tonight. Going forward, we will have great confidence in knowing we can cause problems for any team we play.”
Both teams started the game with good offensive chances, but it was Washington forward Francisca Ordega who got on the board first for the Spirit in the sixth minute. Sky Blue FC was quick to respond, however, and O’Hara tied the game up in the 12th minute when a rebound from a Stephanie Labbe save landed right at her feet. O’Hara slotted the ball perfectly and leveled the score 1-1.
Own goals hit the NWSL hard in Week 4, and unfortunately Sky Blue FC was unable to avoid the trend. Ordega, once again on the attack for the Spirit, shot on goal right past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. Defender Erin Simon was on the goal line, but the shot had too much power and her clearance attempt was not enough to redirect the ball. The own goal put the Spirit up 2-1 in the 26th minute. That lead only grew in the 34th minute when Ordega sent a ball in to Spirit midfielder Havana Solaun, who put the ball in the back of the net to give the Spirit the 3-1 advantage.
Sky Blue FC came out in the second half creating good offensive chances in the final third. The club finally broke through in the 50th minute when Killion netted her first goal of the night off of an assist from O’Hara. The Spirit responded six minutes later when Ordega forced Sheridan off her line and scored, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Spirit.
On an attack for Sky Blue FC, second half substitute McKenzie Meehan earned a penalty kick in the 70th minute. Killion converted from the spot and secured her brace, making the score 4-3. Sky Blue FC fought for the equalizer in the final 20 minutes of the match, but was unable to come up with the goal.
Sky Blue FC was once again without captain and centerback Christie Pearce, who remains under league concussion protocol. Midfielders Raquel Rodriguez and Daphne Corboz were also unavailable.
The New Jersey club continues its road trip to face the Houston Dash in the first of back-to back matches on Saturday, May 13th at 4:00 p.m. ET at BBVA Compass Stadium. The game will be featured on the Lifetime network as the NWSL Game of the Week.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: May 6, 2017
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Maryland
Weather: 58 degrees, rainy
NJ: 1 | 2 - 3
WAS: 3 | 1 - 4
6 WAS Francisca Ordega (Line Sigvardsen Jensen)
12 NJ Kelley O’Hara
25 WAS (NJ Own Goal)
34 WAS Hovana Salaun (Francisca Ordega)
50 NJ Sarah Killion (Kelley O’Hara)
56 WAS Francisca Ordega (Hovana Salaun)
NJ: Sheridan, Simon, Skroski, Freeman, Mills, Galton (Hayes-86), Stanton (Tiernan-62), Killion, Lytle (Meehan-69), Kerr, O’Hara
Subs not used: Casey, DeCesare, Richardson
Head Coach: Christy Holly
WAS: Labbe, Zadorsky, Church, Johnson, Kallman, Jensen (Williams-79), Howard, Huster, Solaun, Ordega (Agnew-90), Ship (Castleberry-65)
Subs Not Used: Thomas, Haracic, Kleiner
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: NJ / WAS
Shots: 16 / 8
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 10
Offside: 0 / 6
39 NJ Erin Simon (Yellow Card)
87 WAS Cheyna Williams (Yellow Card)
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Brooke Mayo
Fourth Official: Ali Saheli