Sky Blue FC (0-3-2, 2 points) fought hard until the very last minute of the game and ended ultimately with a 2-3 result to the Washington Spirit for their second meeting of the season.
In the starting moments of the game, Washington pushed high at the Sky Blue backline setting up an early chance in the 1st minute of the game. In her first start of the season, Didi Haracic made her first save coming off the line to stop a ball played into Chloe Logarzo. After the game settled in, Sky Blue FC put the pressure on the Washington Spirit, making it difficult for them defensively. Sky Blue fought early on for chances on goal, with one leading to a potential foul near the box, with no luck to follow. In the 20th minute, Sky Blue drew a corner kick with Savannah McCaskill sending it in to the head of Julie James landing just left of the far post.
The Spirit opened up the scoring in 22nd minute after Haracic saved the initial shot from Cheyna Matthews inside the box but Matthews collected the rebound and hit the back of the net for her first goal of the 2019 season.
Pushing forward, Sky Blue continued to pressure the Spirit defense with a strong shot from McCaskill off of the pass from Raquel Rodriguez, which was blocked by the Spirit defense. One after another, shots came in from Sky Blue FC to take on last week’s NWSL Save of the Week winner Aubrey Bledsoe. With the constant tenacity and persistence from the Sky Blue offense, Rodriguez was able to capitalize on the selfless slip pass from McCaskill to tie the game up 1-1 going into the 32nd minute.
Coming back with the same energy in the second half, Sky Blue FC sought to put more goals on the board. From the very start of the second half, Haracic did well to shut down the shots of the Washington Spirit. In a transition play, Sky Blue had a chance at goal with a free kick from Sarah Killion but Bledsoe was able to handle it.
In the 55th minute, a counter attack off of the Sky Blue free kick put the Spirit back on top as Jordan DiBiasi scored her first NWSL goal assisted by Amy Harrison. Persisting through these goals, Sky Blue did well to maintain pressure on the Spirit backline with constant build up play near the opposition’s box. The Spirit jumped ahead again as Cheyna Matthew’s scored her second goal as she was slipped a ball behind the defense surrounding her in the 67th minute.
Keeping the energy up, Amandine Pierre-Louis was subbed on and would prove to be vital in the attacking force of the Sky Blue offense. With the addition to Pierre-Louis in the attack, she sent a pinpoint cross in to the head of Imani Dorsey, who placed it in the back of the goal to bring the scoreline up to 2-3 in the 80th minute. With a few more saves from both Bledsoe and Haracic, the match finished at a hard-fought 2-3 in favor of the Washington Spirit.
“After it was 1-1, I think we had them, I think we started to high press them and have opportunity after opportunity,” said Head Coach Denise Reddy. “It’s there for us, and we knew that to be on the front foot and attacking we are susceptible to transition, so we have to do a really good job to set and stop or take a tactical foul. We gave up a few transition situations but it’s a risk-reward for us and we didn’t capitalize on the rewards side today.”
Sky Blue FC will travel to the west coast to face Reign FC in Tacoma, Washington at 4 p.m. ET on May 18th. Sky Blue FC returns home on Memorial Day weekend to take on Portland Thorns FC on May 25th at 6 p.m. Tickets to all Sky Blue FC home games can be purchased by calling 888-SBFC-TIX or by visiting www.skybluefc.com