Sky Blue FC (0-2-0, 0 points) played its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) home opener tonight, hosting Seattle Reign FC (2-0-0, 6 points) at Yurcak Field. Both sides dealt with some incredibly difficult conditions throughout the match due to high winds and steady rain in the area. In the end, it was an early penalty kick conversion by Megan Rapinoe that provided Reign FC with an eventual 1-0 result.
“For both teams, the conditions from the wind and the rain made it very difficult for the style of soccer we like to play. We both like to possess, and it was not easy to do that tonight,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “Seattle is a very good team that is extremely well-coached, so to limit their chances the way we did in this weather is definitely a positive takeaway from the match. What we have to do is be a little more efficient as a team in the final third to create better opportunities. That is the small detail we are missing right now.”
As mentioned, Seattle struck in this match-up in the 6th minute of play, as Sky Blue FC defender Erica Skroski was charged with a handball infraction just inside the box that gave Reign FC an early penalty kick attempt. Stepping over the ensuing try was Rapinoe, who converted to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
Both teams continued to battle through the harsh conditions, and Sky Blue FC nearly found its equalizer just before the halftime whistle. In the second minute of stoppage time, Savannah McCaskill fed a through-ball into the box that eventually arrived at the feet of Shea Groom, who then sent it across the area. McCaskill looked to run the ball down, but it was just beyond her reach.
Sky Blue FC again nearly hit an equalizer in the 73rd minute, as McCaskill gained possession in the midfield and began racing down the center of the park. She then delivered a ball to Groom as she entered the right side of the box, where Groom did a stepover before firing a shot that forced a diving save from Seattle netminder Michelle Betos.
In the 85th minute, Reign FC was given a second penalty attempt after Kiersten Dallstream played a ball for Jodie Taylor in the box, where the England international was taken down before it arrived at her feet.
Stepping to the spot following that call was Taylor, who struck a ball to her right side. Playing the kick perfectly was Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who stretched-out to her left and made the diving save. The ball then rebounded right to the feet of Dallstream, who hammered a shot that Sheridan kick-saved to keep out of the net. Following the double-save, Sky Blue FC was able to turn possession the other way and head upfield.
Sky Blue FC continued to seek out the equalizer over the waning minutes of this contest, but the tally remained at 1-0 in favor of Seattle when the final whistle was blown.
Sky Blue FC now hits the road next weekend to play the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 21. The team will return to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 5, hosting the Houston Dash for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for that match are available now onlineor by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
Group and individual game tickets are all on sale now, and fans can purchase by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849). For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, visit the team online and follow us on social media: @SkyBlueFC
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign FC
Date: April 15, 2018
Venue: Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
Weather: 39 degrees, rainy and windy
NJ: 0 | 0 - 0
SEA: 1 | 0 - 1
6 SEA Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick)
NJ: Sheridan, Freeman, Stott, Skroski, Gibbons (Tiernan-82), Rodriguez (Johnson-64), Killion, Lloyd, McCaskill, Beckie, Groom (Leon-89)
Subs not used: Casey, Meehan, Hoy
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
SEA: Betos, Westphal, Barnes, Oyster, Nielsen, Long, Yanez (McNabb-90), Fishlock, Rapinoe (Dallstream-56), Taylor, Spencer (Andrews-79)
Subs Not Used: Addo, Averbuch, Gay
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
Stats Summary: NJ / SEA
Shots: 3 / 8
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 8
Offside: 1 / 3
50 NJ Savannah McCaskill (Yellow Card)
82 SEA Kiersten Dallstream (Yellow Card)
Referee: Marco Vega
Assistant Referee 1: Ian McKay
Assistant Referee 2: Maggie Short
Fourth Official: Thomas Snyder