McCaskill Scores First Pro Goal as Sky Blue FC Earns Road Point in Chicago

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Sky Blue FC (0-2-1, 1 point) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action tonight, showing great resolve to earn a tough road point against the Chicago Red Stars (2-1-2, 8 points) at Toyota Park, 1-1. The Red Stars struck first in the opening minute, but goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and the Sky Blue FC defense was able to silence their attack the rest of the way. Forward Savannah McCaskill provided the equalizing tally for Sky Blue FC, scoring her first professional goal in the 78th minute.
 
“We did pretty well with our pressure towards the beginning of the game, and we also created some good opportunities,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “After the first 15 minutes or so, it felt like Chicago was able to gain control over the remainder of the first half. They were able to spread us out a bit and made us do a lot of unnecessary running defensively. When we came out in the second half, we definitely started to show more of who we are. We were on the front foot more, and we were able to put better pressure on the ball. Coming from behind a goal on the road and finding a way to get a point is definitely a positive takeaway that we will build upon as we head into training next week.”
 
Chicago quickly made it a 1-0 match in the 1st minute following a throw-in that landed at the feet of Alyssa Mautz. After collecting it, Mautz touched the ball for Sofia Huerta outside of the 18, and she lofted a drifting shot that sailed over the head of Sheridan.
 
In the 13th minute, Sky Blue FC appeared to have leveled this match up, as McCaskill collected deep on her end of the pitch before sending a ball up the right flank for a racing Shea Groom. The Sky Blue FC forward sped past a defender as she approached the 18 and two defenders collapsed on her. She then cut a ball to the far side of the area, where Janine Beckie quickly touched before striking it past Red Stars netminder Alyssa Naeher. However, the offside flag went up, and the potential equalizer was nullified.
 
Sky Blue FC saw a few different shots nearly find their mark throughout the remainder of the opening half. On the other side of the field, Sheridan and her back line continued to hold strong as well, and the 1-0 tally remained when the two teams broke for the halftime intermission.
 
Sky Blue FC brought that same fight into the second half of this contest, and the 62nd minute again nearly saw an equalizing score. Off a throw-in, Beckie played an overlapping Groom into the penalty area, where she looked to cut a ball to the center of the box. After Raquel Rodriguez was unable to stretch for it, Carli Lloyd put a nice touch on the ball that gave her enough space to fire on frame, but Naeher was able to deflect her attempt out of play.
 
Another near-tying situation occurred in the 73rd minute on a Sky Blue FC corner kick. After Groom earned the corner, Sarah Killion stepped over it and sent a ball to the far side, where Lloyd put a header on the service that whistled just beyond the post.
 
The resolve of Sky Blue FC finally paid off in the 78th minute. On the series, Katie Johnson gathered possession and lofted a ball to McCaskill, who was on top of the left side of the 18. McCaskill then touched a couple times to her right to create some space before striking a hard curler on frame that slipped under Naeher to make it a 1-1 contest. The finish by McCaskill officially opened her professional account and goes down as the first goal of her NWSL career.
 
After the McCaskill equalizer, Sky Blue FC was buzzing in pursuit of the game-winner, but the 1-1 count remained when the final whistle was blown.
 
Sky Blue FC will now return home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 5, hosting the Houston Dash for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).

NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Chicago Red Stars   
Date: April 21, 2018
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
Attendance: 2,413
Weather: 52 degrees, mostly sunny
 
Scoring Summary: 
NJ: 0 | 1 - 1
CHI: 1 | 0 - 1
 
1 CHI Sofia Huerta (Alyssa Mautz)
78 NJ Savannah McCaskill (Katie Johnson)
 
Lineups: 
NJ: Sheridan, Freeman (Johnson-66), Stott, Skroski, Gibbons, Rodriguez (Meehan-83), Killion, Lloyd, McCaskill (Tiernan-86), Beckie, Groom
Subs not usedCasey, Hoy, Leon, Abam
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
 
CHI: Naeher, Comeau, Naughton, Gilliland, Gorden, Huerta, Stanton, Colaprico (Kaskie-90), Vasconcelos (Green-83), Nagasato, Mautz
Subs Not Used: Boyd, Yenney
Head Coach: Rory Dames
 
Stats Summary: CHI / NJ
Shots: 20 / 11
Saves: 3 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls:  3 / 8
Offside: 4 / 4
 
Misconduct Summary: 
N/A
 
Officials: 
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Gjovalin Bori
Fourth Official: Kyle Hannon

Sky Blue FC Falls to Seattle at Rain-Soaked Yurcak Field

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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
Attendance: 1,913
Weather: 39 degrees, rainy and windy
 
Scoring Summary: 
NJ: 0 | 0 - 0
SEA: 1 | 0 - 1
 
6 SEA Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick)
 
Lineups: 
NJ: Sheridan, Freeman, Stott, Skroski, Gibbons (Tiernan-82), Rodriguez (Johnson-64), Killion, Lloyd, McCaskill, Beckie, Groom (Leon-89)
Subs not usedCasey, 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
 
Misconduct Summary: 
50 NJ Savannah McCaskill (Yellow Card)
82 SEA Kiersten Dallstream (Yellow Card)
 
Officials: 
Referee: Marco Vega
Assistant Referee 1: Ian McKay
Assistant Referee 2: Maggie Short
Fourth Official: Thomas Snyder

Sky Blue FC Announces Regular Season Roster

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With the 2018 Preseason Presented by Sportika Sports now in the books, Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced its regular season roster on Monday. The Sky Blue FC regular season roster consists of 20 players plus forwards Adriana Leon and Savannah McCaskill, who were acquired via the 2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft and do not count against the 20-player active limit.
 
At the goalkeeper position, Caroline Casey and Kailen Sheridan are the two options for Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy.
 
The Sky Blue FC defender corps consists of Mandy Freeman, Christina Gibbons, Kayla Mills, Amandine Pierre-Louis, Domi Richardson, Erica Skroski and Rebekah Stott. Additionally, Erin Simon has been placed on the 45-day disabled list, while Amanda Frisbie is currently out-of-market (acquired via NWSL Dispersal Draft).
 
Options at the midfielder position are Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd, Raquel Rodriguez, Thaisa Moreno and Madison Tiernan, with Daphne Corboz currently playing on loan with FC Fleury 91 in France.
 
Michaela Abam, Janine Beckie, Shea Groom, Jen Hoy, Katie Johnson, Adriana Leon, Savannah McCaskill and McKenzie Meehan comprise the group of forwards available to Reddy.
 
Transactions that occurred prior to today’s roster announcement include the release of defenders Cassidy Benintente, Mary Fiebernitz, Monica Flores and midfielder Kelly Conheeney.
 
Additionally, Sky Blue FC retains the NWSL rights to its 2018 College Draft picks. Among those players are goalkeeper Casey Murphy, who is playing in France for Montpellier Hérault; midfielder Kiana Palacios and forward Imani Dorsey, who is finishing up her education at Duke University.
 

2018 SKY BLUE FC REGULAR SEASON ROSTER (22 of 20 spots filled)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Caroline Casey, Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN)
 
DEFENDERS (8): Mandy Freeman, Amanda Frisbie (PEN), Christina Gibbons, Kayla Mills, Amandine Pierre-Louis (INTL-CAN), Domi Richardson, Erin Simon (D45), Erica Skroski, Rebekah Stott (INTL-NZL)
 
MIDFIELDERS (6): Daphne Corboz (LOA), Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd (FED-USA), Raquel Rodriguez (INTL-CRC), Thaisa Moreno (INTL-BRA), Madison Tiernan
 
FORWARDS (8): Michaela Abam, Janine Beckie (FED-CAN), Shea Groom, Jen Hoy, Katie Johnson, Adriana Leon (FED-CAN, DD), Savannah McCaskill (DD), McKenzie Meehan
 
Federation Players (FED): 4
International Roster Spots Filled (INTL): 4
 
Key:

ACTIVE ROSTER:
FED - Federation Player
INTL – International Roster Spot
 
ROSTERED PLAYERS NOT COUNTED AGAINST ACTIVE LIMIT:
D45 (45-Day Disabled List): Player on the 45-Day disabled list
LOA (Loan): Player is loaned out to another club
PEN (Pending): Player will join club on a future date
DD (Dispersal Draft): Contracted players acquired via the Dispersal Draft

Sky Blue FC Offense Hits Full Stride Against St. John's University

Photo: Sky Blue FC

Photo: Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC concluded its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Sunday, playing St. John’s University at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. The Sky Blue FC attack found great rhythm in the contest, with five different goal-scorers leading the club to a 6-0 victory.

“It was great to finally have everyone back with the team. Even though we had some players in new positions, we were able to stay true to how we want to play, both with and without the ball,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We were continually substituting throughout the second half, and I was excited to see that we never lost our identity. Whether we were defending or in the attack, we did not lost sight of what we were trying to do. Overall, I am really happy with how we performed today.”
 
Sky Blue FC was clicking cohesively throughout the field and jumped out to an early lead in the 11th minute. On that go-ahead tally, forward Janine Beckie received the ball beyond the 18-yard box and blasted a hard shot that squeezed over St. John’s goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro, who made a number of tough saves in the match-up.
 
Sky Blue FC extended its advantage to 2-0 on an offensive series in the 34th minute. Beckie first baited the goalkeeper to come off her post before playing midfielder Carli Lloyd on a run to the left flank, where the two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year delivered a hard roller to the middle of the box. Receiving it was forward Katie Johnson, who fired a shot that hit the post. Collecting the rebound was Shea Groom, and the Sky Blue FC forward struck a ball towards the frame that was kick-saved by Tammaro. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez was there to gather, first seeing a right-footed shot blocked by a defender before sending a ball into the back of the net with her left foot.
 
Following the start of the second half, Sky Blue FC needed just a bit more than 30 seconds before Beckie scored the second goal of a brace, finishing off a feed from Groom.
 
Sky Blue FC remained on the attack following that third tally of the afternoon, extending the lead to 4-0 in the 56th minute. On that sequence, forward Savannah McCaskill traveled down the end line with possession and centered for forward Adriana Leon, who put away a one-timer.
 
In the 63rd minute, McCaskill added a goal to the stat sheet to make it 5-0, hammering a thunderous strike from inside the 18. The final 6-0 count was then placed on the board in the 65th minute, as Tammaro deflected a hard shot from Leon into the air, where Groom climbed the ladder to finish off the series with a goal-scoring header.
 
With its 2018 Preseason Presented by Sportika Sports now officially in the books, Sky Blue FC shifts its focus to the regular season. First up, the team travels to the North Carolina Courage for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, March 31. Sky Blue FC then returns to New Jersey on Sunday, April 15, hosting Seattle Reign FC for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff in its home opener at Yurcak Field. Tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
 
2018 Sky Blue FC season, half-season and individual game tickets are all on sale now, and fans can purchase tickets 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. St. John’s University
Date: March 18, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
Weather: Indoors
 
Scoring Summary: 
NJ: 2 | 4 - 6
SJU: 0 | 0 - 0
 
11 NJ Janine Beckie
34 NJ Raquel Rodriguez
46 NJ Janine Beckie (Shea Groom)
56 NJ Adriana Leon (Savannah McCaskill)
63 NJ Savannah McCaskill
65 NJ Shea Groom
 
Lineup: 
Starting XI: Sheridan, Hoy, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Moreno, Rodriguez, Lloyd, Beckie, Johnson, Groom
SubstitutesCasey, McCaskill, Leon, Meehan, Mills, Richardson, Conheeney, Flores, Abam, Palacios, Stott
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
 
Misconduct Summary: 
N/A
 

Rodriguez Game-Winner Leads Sky Blue FC Past West Virginia

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Sky Blue FC continued its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Saturday, playing West Virginia University at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. The game-winner of this contest came in the 29th minute, with Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez converting a penalty kick opportunity.

“West Virginia was a really good team for us to meet. They were well organized, and they are extremely physical,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “Going against a team that switches from high-press to low-press and can play out of the back or go direct gives us a good picture of how an NWSL team will play.”
 
Sky Blue FC almost grabbed an early advantage in the 7th minute of this fixture, as McKenzie Meehan and Katie Johnson worked a give-and-go that resulted in a Meehan blast going just high of the crossbar. Shea Groom was also a constant creator for the Sky Blue FC attack, and she nearly set up the go-ahead tally in the 25th minute after shaking a defender and delivering a ball across the mouth of the frame. On the receiving end of that distribution was Jen Hoy, who saw her header go just wide of the near post.
 
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 29th minute when Meehan sent a ball into the area for Rodriguez, who was taken down inside the box for a Sky Blue FC penalty kick. Rodriguez handled the ensuing responsibility herself, and the Costa Rica international scored the penalty try to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
 
Another addition to the Sky Blue FC lineup today was Brazil international Thaisa Moreno, who maintained an active presence in the middle of the field for her new club. She had a particularly strong connection with Rodriguez, as the duo orchestrated some dangerous runs that nearly saw Sky Blue FC stretch its lead before halftime.

Sky Blue FC continued to threaten offensively in the second half, but a solid performance by West Virginia netminder Rylee Foster kept the score line at 1-0 throughout the second portion of play. When the final whistle was blown, that 1-0 tally in favor of Sky Blue FC became the final result.
 
Recording the clean slate this afternoon for Sky Blue FC was goalkeeper Caroline Casey, who played the full 90 minutes of action.
 
“We did a good job today of finding the seams, and there were a bunch of times that we went into the attack with numbers,” said Reddy. “Now, we just need to put the final pieces together on making the right decisions and making the proper run at the proper time. We did well defensively, both in our high-press and low-press, and I was happy overall with our performance.”
 
Sky Blue FC will conclude its preseason schedule when it welcomes St. John’s University into Sportika Sports for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff next Sunday, March 18. All Sky Blue FC preseason matches are open to the public, and admission to attend is free. Sportika Sports, which is the presenting sponsor of the 2018 Sky Blue FC Preseason, is located at 150 Woodward Road in Manalapan, N.J.
 
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. West Virginia University
Date: March 10, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
Weather: Indoors
 
Scoring Summary: 
NJ: 1 | 0 - 1
WVU: 0 | 0 - 0
 
29 NJ Raquel Rodriguez (Penalty Kick)
 
Lineup: 
Starting XI: Casey, Flores, Fiebernitz, Freeman, Gibbons, Thaisa, Meehan, Rodriguez, Hoy, Johnson, Groom
SubstitutesGunion, Mills, Simon, Conheeney, Skroski, Benintente, Richardson, Pierre-Louis, Palacios, Abam
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
 
Misconduct Summary: 
N/A

Sky Blue FC Reduces Preseason Roster

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Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) reduced its roster on Monday as the team enters its third week of the 2018 Preseason Presented by Sportika Sports. The active roster has been cut down to 25 players, with five additional players who are contracted but currently out-of-market.
 
At the goalkeeper position, Caroline Casey and Kailen Sheridan will be the two options for Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy. Preseason camp invitees Tori Corsaro, Kaycee Gunion and Christiana Ogunsami are no longer on the roster, while the NWSL rights to 2018 College Draft pick Casey Murphy remain with Sky Blue FC while she is playing in France for Montpellier Hérault.
 
The Sky Blue FC defender corps now consists of Cassidy Benintente, Mary Fiebernitz, Monica Flores, Mandy Freeman, Christina Gibbons, Kayla Mills, Amandine Pierre-Louis, Domi Richardson, Erin Simon, Erica Skroski and Rebekah Stott, while Amanda Frisbee is currently out-of-market. Preseason camp invitees Christa Neary and Jessica Vigna are no longer on the roster.
 
Options at the midfielder position are Kelly Conheeney, Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd, Kiana Palacios, Raquel Rodriguez, Thaisa Moreno and Madison Tiernan, with Daphne Corboz remaining an out-of-market contracted player while she is competing with FC Fleury 91 in France. Preseason camp invitees Nicole Baxter, Alli Magaletta and Ani Sarkisian are no longer on the roster.
 
Michaela Abam, Shea Groom, Jen Hoy, Katie Johnson, Savannah McCaskill and McKenzie Meehan comprise the group of forwards available to Reddy, while Janine Beckie and Adriana Leon are currently out-of-market with the Canada Women’s National Team. The NWSL rights to 2018 College Draft pick Imani Dorsey remain with Sky Blue FC as she finishes up her education at Duke University.

2018 SKY BLUE FC PRESEASON ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Caroline Casey, Casey Murphy (CDP), Kailen Sheridan (OOM)
 
DEFENDERS (12): Cassidy Benintente, Mary Fiebernitz, Monica Flores, Mandy Freeman, Amanda Frisbie (OOM), Christina Gibbons, Kayla Mills, Amandine Pierre-Louis (CDP), Domi Richardson, Erin Simon, Erica Skroski, Rebekah Stott (NYR)
 
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kelly Conheeney, Daphne Corboz (OOM), Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd, Kiana Palacios (CDP), Raquel Rodriguez, Thaisa Moreno (NYR), Madison Tiernan
 
FORWARDS (9): Michaela Abam (CDP), Janine Beckie (OOM), Imani Dorsey (CDP), Shea Groom, Jen Hoy, Katie Johnson, Adriana Leon (OOM), Savannah McCaskill, McKenzie Meehan
 
Key:
NYR – Not Yet Reported
OOM – Out-of-Market Contracted Player
CDP – College Draft Pick