Sky Blue FC concluded its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Sunday afternoon with a 6-0 victory against St. John’s University at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. The New Jersey attack featured five different goal-scorers in the match as the offense appeared to have found its rhythm.
“It was great to finally have everyone back with the team,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy. “Even though we had some players in new positions, we were able to stay true to how we want to play, both with and without the ball. We were continually substituting throughout the second half, and I was excited to see that we never lost our identity. Whether we were defending or in the attack, we did not lost sight of what we were trying to do. Overall, I am really happy with how we performed today.”
Sky Blue FC took an early lead in the 11th minute of this contest. On the go-ahead tally, forward Janine Beckie received the ball beyond the 18-yard box and ripped a shot past St. John’s goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro for the 1-0 advantage.
The New Jersey club extended its lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute. Carli Lloyd delivered a low cross from the left flank to the middle of the box to forward Katie Johnson, who fired a shot that hit the post. Collecting the rebound was Shea Groom, and the forward struck a ball towards the frame that was kick-saved by Tammaro. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez was there to gather, who saw her first shot blocked by a defender before sending a ball into the back of the net with her left foot.
Following the start of the second half, Sky Blue FC converted in less than a minute of play with Beckie scoring her second goal of the match off a feed from Groom.
The New Jersey side continued to pressure St John’s back line, extending the lead to 4-0 in the 56th minute. On that sequence, forward Savannah McCaskill dribbled down the end line and played a ball to forward Adriana Leon, who put away a one-timer.
McCaskill added a goal of her own to make it 5-0 in the 63rd minute, ripping the ball into the back of the net from inside the 18. The final goal came two minutes later when Tammaro deflected a hard shot from Leon into the air, and Groom headed the deflection home for the 6-0 result.
Sky Blue FC begins its 2018 regular season on Saturday, March 31st when the club travels to North Carolina to take on the Courage for a 3:30 p.m. match-up. Sky Blue FC then returns to New Jersey on Sunday, April 15, hosting Seattle Reign FC for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff in its home opener at Yurcak Field. Tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. St. John’s University
Date: March 18, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 2 | 4 - 6
SJU: 0 | 0 - 0
11 NJ Janine Beckie
34 NJ Raquel Rodriguez
46 NJ Janine Beckie (Shea Groom)
56 NJ Adriana Leon (Savannah McCaskill)
63 NJ Savannah McCaskill
65 NJ Shea Groom
Starting XI: Sheridan, Hoy, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Moreno, Rodriguez, Lloyd, Beckie, Johnson, Groom
Substitutes: Casey, McCaskill, Leon, Meehan, Mills, Richardson, Conheeney, Flores, Abam, Palacios, Stott
Head Coach: Denise Reddy