Sky Blue FC got a pair of goals from Carli Lloyd and earned their first point of the season Sunday in a 2-2 draw at home against Portland Thorns FC.
Sky Blue FC (0-2-1, 1 point) came out in full force to start the match and wasted no time in finding the back of the net. In the sixth minute, Raquel Rodriguez split two Portland defenders in the middle of the pitch before sending a ball over the top of the backline to Lloyd. Lloyd was able to collect and use her speed to get by Thorns defender Katherine Reynolds and a sliding Emily Sonnett before beating Adrianna Franch for the goal.
Sky Blue FC continued to put the pressure on the Thorns backline after netting the first goal. In the 16th minute, a buildup between Lloyd and Julie James opened up Paige Monaghan down the sideline but Monaghan’s shot was easily handled by Franch. A few moments later, in the 18th minute, Lloyd took it upon herself and jumped on a bad back pass that got away from Sonnett. As Lloyd collected the ball, she dodged the diving Franch and sent the ball into the back of the open net to put Sky Blue up 2-0.
Portland responded in the 30th minute. Tobin Heath was fouled by Monaghan right outside the box. Heath put the free kick in towards the far post and Christine Sinclair was able to get control to slip the ball to an open Sonnett, cutting Sky Blue’s lead down to 2-1.
In the 34th minute, Portland tied the game up when forward Caitlin Foord ran down the right flank and sent a cross in toward Heath. As the ball it hit the ground, Heath collected and backheeled it past Kailen Sheridan.
Sheridan came up big at the end of the first half as she blocked a free kick sent in by Heath that bounced in the middle of the box and headed towards the far post.
The second half did not see either team let up off the gas. Sky Blue’s first chance came from Imani Dorsey finding the feet of Lloyd as she broke into the Thorns final third. Lloyd was able to get a toe on it but Franch came off her line to make the save. In the 63rd minute Dorsey dished the ball off to Lloyd again, who cut right to beat her defender and sent a rocket towards goal but was denied by the inside of the post.
“We had some internal goals and we tweaked a little bit in the formation to try and get the best out of our players,” said Head Coach Denise Reddy. “We were very disciplined, we worked all week, and we got results.”
Sky Blue FC heads south to face the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, May 4 (7 p.m. ET) at WakeMed Soccer Park. The team will return home on Saturday, May 11, (3 p.m. ET) to face the Washington Spirit on Champion Women Day. Tickets to all Sky Blue FC home games can be purchased by calling 888-SBFC-TIX or by visiting www.skybluefc.com