Sky Blue FC defeated the University of North Carolina 2-1 on Saturday at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. in the club's second preseason match of the 2018 season. Forwards Shea Groom and McKenzie Meehan lead the attack, scoring a goal and adding an assist each to lift Sky Blue FC to victory.
“We continue to build upon our foundation each week, and I can really see the things we are working on in training come out in the games,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy in a team press release. “I think we put together a lot more minutes this week, and we also did a much better job defensively. When we were in possession, we were in possession with a purpose, and that is how we are looking to play. I am extremely happy with the opportunities we were able to create and the way we were able to hold most of the possession during the game.”
Sky Blue FC got on the board early, taking the lead in just the 8th minute of play. Meehan collected the ball at midfield and delivered a through ball to an unmarked Groom racing down the right flank. After a quick touch with her left foot, Groom shot the ball towards the far post with her right foot and past North Carolina goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak for the 1-0 advantage.
Just before the half, the Tar Heels converted and took a 1-1 score line into the locker room.
In the second half, the New Jersey side continued to create scoring chances and eventually found the back of the net in the 75th minute. On the scoring sequence, Groom was played a ball into the right side of the box and drew the defense with her. She then passed a ball to Meehan, who one-timed her shot and scored for the 2-1 lead. The goal would prove to be the game-winner as the tally remained at the final whistle.
Next on the preseason slate for Sky Blue FC is a 1:00 p.m. match-up against West Virginia University on Saturday, March 10. The New Jersey club will then conclude its preseason schedule when it welcomes St. John’s University 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. University of North Carolina
Date: March 3, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 1 | 1 - 2
UNC: 1 | 0 - 1
8 NJ Shea Groom (McKenzie Meehan)
43 UNC Goal
75 NJ McKenzie Meehan (Shea Groom)
Starting XI: Gunion, Mills, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Meehan, Killion, Rodriguez, Hoy, Abam, Groom
Substitutes: Ogunsami, Corsaro, Richardson, Simon, Benintente, Conheeney, Baxter, Sarkisian, Neary, Vigna, Magaletta
Head Coach: Denise Reddy