Sky Blue FC (0-4-1, 1 point) of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) returned to action on Saturday night, suffering a 4-1 loss to Seattle Reign FC (4-1-1, 13 points) on the road at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium. Rookie forward Savannah McCaskill scored the lone goal of the match for the New Jersey club, marking her second of the season.
Seattle came out strong and took an early 1-0 lead in the 5th minute of action. Megan Rapinoe starting the scoring sequence by splitting two defenders on the left flank and finding teammate Stephanie Catley near the end line. Catley played a one-time ball into the box and Jodie Taylor was unmarked to head the cross into the back of the net for the early advantage.
The Reign doubled its lead in the 38th minute off a finish from Rapinoe. Catley sent a ball towards the box and Sky Blue FC defender Erica Skroski deflected the ball away from midfielder Jess Fishlock making a run in behind the Jersey backline. However, the deflection fell right to Rapinoe’s feet, and she settled the ball before sending a curler into the upper right corner of the net.
Rapinoe struck again in the 60th minute with a screamer into the opposite side of the net. On the play, Nahomi Kawasumi played a play towards the left flank to an open Rapinoe. She quickly dribbled into the box towards goal, then cut back with the outside of her right foot to create separation between herself and the recovering defender. Rapinoe then ripped a shot towards the far post to make it 3-0.
Sky Blue FC responded just two minutes later to make it a 3-1 game. Some quick combination play in the attacking third of the field resulted with Carli Lloyd in possession just outside of the box. Lloyd played a ball to McCaskill making an overlapping run to her right, and the rookie took a touch before sending a floater over Seattle netminder Lydia Williams and into the far side netting.
The final tally of the night came in the 84th minute in favor of Seattle. The sequence started with a short corner being played out to Rumi Utsugi, who then played a ball into the box towards several awaiting teammates. The initial ball skipped untouched and then hit the left post. Allie Long was right there to collect and tap the ball past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for the 4-1 result.
Sky Blue FC returns home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 19 to host the North Carolina Courage for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Special guest Eric LeGrand will be serving as the Sky Blue FC honorary captain for the match.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign FC
Date: May 12, 2018
Venue: UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium; Seattle, Washington
Weather: 74 degrees, sunny
NJ: 0 | 1 - 1
SEA: 2 | 2 – 4
5 SEA Jodie Taylor (Stephanie Catley)
38 SEA Megan Rapinoe
60 SEA Megan Rapinoe (Nahomi Kawasumi)
62 NJ Savannah McCaskill (Carli Lloyd)
84 SEA Allie Long
NJ: Sheridan, Freeman (Hoy-89), Stott, Skroski, Gibbons, Beckie (Moreno-74), Killion (Rodriguez-62), Lloyd, Groom, Johnson, McCaskill
Subs not used: Casey, Meehan, Richardson, Tiernan
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
SEA: Williams, Catley, McNabb, Oyster, Nielsen, Utsugi, Long, Fishlock (Addo-86), Rapinoe (Yanez-62), Taylor, Kawasumi (Spencer-75)
Subs Not Used: Betos, Westphal, Andrews, Barnes
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
Stats Summary: SEA / NJ
Shots: 19 / 14
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 5 / 13
Offside: 6 / 2
21 NJ Erica Skroski (Yellow Card)
88 SEA Jodie Taylor
Referee: Matt Allaton
Assistant Referee 1: Jeremy Weed
Assistant Referee 2: Kelsey Harms
Fourth Official: Levi Rippy