Sky Blue FC defeated West Virginia University 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in the New Jersey club's third preseason match of the 2018 campaign. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez scored the game-winning goal in the 29th minute of action to improve Sky Blue FC's preseason record to 2-1.
“West Virginia was a really good team for us to meet. They were well organized, and they are extremely physical,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy in a team press release. “Going against a team that switches from high-press to low-press and can play out of the back or go direct gives us a good picture of how an NWSL team will play.”
Sky Blue FC created several scoring chances early on in this matchup. In the 7th minute, McKenzie Meehan and Katie Johnson played a give-and-go that resulted in a Meehan shot soaring just over the crossbar. Shea Groom was also a big presence in the Sky Blue FC attack, and she nearly set up the go-ahead tally in the 25th minute. After Shea beat a defender and delivered a ball across the mouth of the frame, Hoy headed the ball towards the goal, but it went just wide of the near post.
The home team eventually found the back of the net four minutes later. The scoring sequence started with Meehan playing a ball into the box towards Rodriguez, and the Costa Rica international was taken down by a defender for a Sky Blue FC penalty kick. Rodriguez took the penalty kick and converted to give her club a 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC continued to threaten offensively in the second half, but a solid performance by West Virginia goalkeeper Rylee Foster kept the score line at 1-0 for the final result. Sky Blue FC netminder Caroline Casey earned the shutout and played the full 90 minutes of action.
Sky Blue FC will conclude its preseason schedule when it welcomes St. John’s University into Sportika Sports for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, March 18. All Sky Blue FC preseason matches are open to the public, and admission to attend is free. Sportika Sports is located at 150 Woodward Road in Manalapan, N.J.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. West Virginia University
Date: March 10, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 1 | 0 - 1
WVU: 0 | 0 - 0
29 NJ Raquel Rodriguez (Penalty Kick)
Starting XI: Casey, Flores, Fiebernitz, Freeman, Gibbons, Thaisa, Meehan, Rodriguez, Hoy, Johnson, Groom
Substitutes: Gunion, Mills, Simon, Conheeney, Skroski, Benintente, Richardson, Pierre-Louis, Palacios, Abam
Head Coach: Denise Reddy