Sky Blue FC (0-12-3, 3 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Saturday, suffering a 4-0 home loss to the first-place North Carolina Courage (14-1-3, 45 points) at Yurcak Field.
“We moved the ball well in the first half, but we were in a position where we had to be much more attack-oriented in the second half,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “It was a bit risky to send numbers forward like we did in the second half, especially when North Carolina is such a good team in transition. However, it was worth taking the chance because we have to show a willingness to go for it in those types of situations.”
The Courage opened the scoring tonight in the 15th minute of play. That series started off a corner that was eventually knocked to the top of the penalty area and sent to Kristen Hamilton on the end line. Hamilton then delivered a cross towards the far post, where Abby Erceg was able to head in the go-ahead goal to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
Sky Blue FC nearly got itself on the board in the 25th minute when Carli Lloyd flicked a ball for Savannah McCaskill inside the penalty area, but North Carolina goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland was able to make a point-blank save of her ensuing shot.
10 minutes later, Sky Blue FC created another great scoring chance, as McCaskill played a ball for Sarah Killion as she ran into the box. Killion timed her run well enough to put a header on frame, but her attempt struck the post.
In the second half, the Courage was able to put this one out of reach as Lynn Williams registered a hat trick over the final 45 minutes of action.
Hamilton was first able to find Williams in the 56th minute to make it 2-0, and Debinha then hooked Williams up in the 72nd minute to place a 3-0 tally on the scoreboard. The final goal for Williams came in the 89th minute on an unassisted finish.
Sky Blue FC will return to Yurcak Field next Saturday, July 21, to host Portland Thorns FC for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The match, which is themed Pucks at the Pitch, will feature the 2017-18 National Women’s Hockey League champion Metro Riveters with the Isobel Cup, former New Jersey Devils and Stanley Cup champions Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver and Grant Marshall, as well as the New Jersey Devils mascot and Devils promotional team. Tickets for that game are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
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