Sky Blue FC returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Saturday night, suffering a 4-1 road defeat to Seattle Reign FC on the UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium. Scoring the lone tally for Sky Blue FC was Savannah McCaskill, her second goal of the season.
Seattle gained an early advantage in the 5th minute of play. On that scoring sequence, Megan Rapinoe split two defenders on the left flank to find Stephanie Catley, who then one-timed service into the box with her left foot. The recipient of the cross was Jodie Taylor, and her ensuing header found the back of the net to give the host side a 1-0 lead.
In the 38th minute, Reign FC stretched the gap to 2-0 after Catley sent a ball into the box that had an unfortunate deflection to the feet of Rapinoe. After quickly settling, Rapinoe struck a hard curler into the right upper 90 that simply left Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan with no chance to turn it away. That two-goal advantage would stand until the action was halted for a halftime intermission.
Rapinoe registered her second goal of the match in the 60th minute. On that play, Nahomi Kawasumi collected in the midfield before delivering service to Rapinoe on the left flank. Rapinoe sped into the box with possession before pulling the ball back to create some space on her defender, firing a shot inside the far post that made it 3-0 in favor of the home team.
Soon after that tally, Sky Blue FC got on the board in the 62nd minute. Shea Groom first sniped a defender before a ball was fed from McCaskill to Katie Johnson to Carli Lloyd, who then sent a hard roller to McCaskill as she made a run into the box. McCaskill quickly touched the feed one time before striking a lofting shot over the head of Seattle netminder Lydia Williams. The conversion tightened the deficit to a pair of goals, 3-1.
The last score of the night occurred in the 84th minute. A Reign FC corner kick was played to Rumi Utsugi on top of the 18, where she struck a hard left-footed shot that hit the far post. There to collect the rebound was Allie Long, and she tapped in the ball to hang the final 4-1 tally.
Sky Blue FC now returns home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 19, hosting the first-place North Carolina Courage for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849). A special guest will be in attendance for the game, as Eric LeGrand will be serving as the Sky Blue FC honorary captain.
For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, visit the team online and follow them on social media: @SkyBlueFC
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