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Sky Blue drops into last place with 1-2 loss to Orlando

Sky Blue remain last winless team after handing the Pride their first win of the year.

Sarah Killion
Sarah Killion scored from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough against Orlando.
Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos

Sky Blue FC (0-7-2, 2 points) fell to last place in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) standings after losing to the Orlando Pride (1-7-2, 5 points), 1-2, on Saturday night during their annual Pride Night match.

The two teams exchanged a pair of converted penalty kicks, but it was a late Gina Lewandowski own goal that handed the visiting Pride their first win of the 2019 season.

In what feels all too much like deja vu from last season, Sky Blue now remain the only winless team in the league.

Orlando opened up scoring in the 31st minute when they were awarded a penalty kick after midfielder Elizabeth Eddy, making her first start with Sky Blue, was whistled for a handball inside the box. Chioma Ubogagu stepped up to take the spot kick, and she put her low shot past Sky Blue goalkeeper DiDi Haracic and into the bottom right corner to give the Pride the lead.

The game entered halftime with the Pride sitting on that one-goal lead, but Sky Blue was able to equalize in the 67th minute after Orlando was also penalized for a handball in the box. Sarah Killion, wearing the Sky Blue armband, sent her shot to almost the same spot that Ubogagu did to also convert her attempt, bringing the game back level. The goal is Killion’s first of the season.

The deciding goal didn’t come until the final 10 minutes of the match when rookie Marissa Viggiano, drafted by the Pride in the fourth round of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, sent a cross into the box that defender Lewandowski blocked with her body. Lewandowski’s attempt to deny the Pride of a scoring opportunity backfired, though, as the ball deflected off of her abdomen and into the goal for the game-winning own goal.

Overall, Sky Blue played one of their best matches of the season, outplaying Orlando for the vast majority of the match. Sky Blue outshot the Pride, 21-6 (5-3 SOG), had 55.6 percent of possession, and passed the ball with 80.1 percent accuracy, but none of that mattered since it didn’t translate to the scoreboard.

Sky Blue has a bye next weekend, so they won’t return to action until Saturday, July 6 when they hit the road to take on Savannah McCaskill and her new club, the Chicago Red Stars.