Sky Blue FC (7-8-2, 23 points) returned to Yurcak Field on Friday night to take on the visiting Washington Spirit (4-8-3, 15 points) in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) play. Sky Blue FC went into the halftime with the lead on a Maya Hayes goal in the 2nd minute. However, they were unable to thwart the four-goal comeback by the Spirit in the second half, ultimately falling 4-1.
“We are obviously very disappointed,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We opened this game well and created a lot of opportunities. Unfortunately, as the game progressed, we fell into a shell and made some bad decisions. We just have to learn and grow from this as we go forward in the season.”
The Sky Blue FC attack got off to a quick start in the 2nd minute when forward McKenzie Meehan sent in a cross to the feet of midfielder Daphne Corboz. Corboz hit the ball to the feet of forward Maya Hayes on the far post, who quickly put the ball into the back of the net to give the home team the 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC created several chances in the first half, including a Meehan shot on goal that required Washington Spirit keeper Stephanie Labbe to make a point blank save. However, none of these chances found the back of the net, and the game went into halftime 1-0.
The second half proved to be all Spirit, and the visitors got the equalizer in the 51st minute on an Arielle Ship goal. The game winning goal came just ten minutes later in the 61st minute when Ship got past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and set up her teammate Cheyna Williams for the goal to give the Spirit the 2-1 lead.
The offensive surge continued for the Spirit in the 73rd minute when midfielder Meggie Dougherty-Howard intercepted a goal kick and turned her chance into a goal. Ship tallied the assist on this goal as well, which brought her to 1 goal and 2 assists on the night for the Spirit.
In the 87th minute, Havana Solaun converted a penalty kick awarded to the Spirit after a foul on Dougherty-Howard in the box to make the score the 4-1 final.
It is notable that Sky Blue FC was without forward Sam Kerr (AUS) and defender Kelley O’Hara (USA) for this game. Both were out after the conclusion of the Tournament of Nations just one day prior.
Sky Blue FC goes on the road to take on the Orlando Pride next Saturday, August 12th. They return to Yurcak Field to take on the Seattle Reign on Saturday, August 19th.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: August 4, 2017
Venue: Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
NJ: 1 | 0 - 1
WAS: 0 | 4 - 4
2 NJ Maya Hayes (Daphne Corboz)
51 WAS Arielle Ship
61 WAS Cheyna Williams (Arielle Ship)
73 WAS Meggie Dougherty Howard (Arielle Ship)
87 WAS Havan Solaun (Penalty Kick)
NJ: Sheridan, Richardson, Skroski, Pearce, Stanton (Tiernan-66), Corboz, Rodriguez, Killion, Lytle, Meehan, Hayes (Kai-71)
Subs not used: Casey, Mills, Freeman
Head Coach: Christy Holly
WAS: Labbe, Church, Kallman, Johnson, Dyadasco, Huster, Solaun, Howard, Mewis (Kleiner-76), Ship (Agnew-84), Williams (Farquaharson-89)
Subs Not Used: Aedo, Haracic, Zadorsky
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: NJ / WAS
Shots: 8 / 23
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 0 / 10
Corner Kicks: 0 / 10
Fouls: 3 / 10
Offside: 5 / 0
51 WAS Whitney Church (Yellow Card)
Referee: Gustavo Solorio
Assistant Referee 1: Gjovalin
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Vazquez
Fourth Official: Luis Arroyo