Piscataway, N.J. (Wednesday, May 28, 2014) – Donning pink kits for Breast Cancer Awareness, Sky Blue FC (2-4-4, 10 Points) welcomed the Chicago Red Stars (6-2-1, 19 Points) into Yurcak Field on Wednesday night, with the visiting side claiming a 2-0 result. The win was the fifth consecutive victory for the Red Stars, using a pair of first half goals to hang the final result.
“We were unable to figure out how to get enough pressure on the ball tonight, and that really hurt us,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra remarked. “It is always disappointing to lose at home, especially when you do not manage to score a goal. What we now have to do is put this game behind us and focus on getting a result this Sunday against Seattle.”
After some good back-and-forth action got the opening half underway, the Red Stars were able to break the deadlock in the 27th minute. On the scoring play, Chicago defender Michelle Wenino fed the ball forward to striker Jennifer Hoy in the center of the field. Hoy then raced into the penalty area and looked to maneuver, but the Sky Blue FC defense stepped up to pressure her and was initially able to knock the ball loose. However, Red Stars forward Adriana Leon then quickly collected before firing an upwards strike that was out of the reach of goalkeeper Jillian Loyden.
In the 35th minute of play, Chicago extended its advantage to two goals following a goal kick by netminder Karina LeBlanc, who put the ball into play for defender Samantha Johnson on her left side. Johnson then turned and sent the ball upfield, where defender Kecia Morway was able to collect on the left flank. She then delivered a cross to Leon on the far side and watched the Canadian striker one-touch it to midfielder Lori Chalupny in the middle of the box. The Red Stars captain then immediately hammered a hard shot that hit the back netting, giving Chicago a two-score edge that it took into the locker rooms at intermission.
Sky Blue FC looked to increase its pace as soon as the second half whistle resumed action, finding the much more defensively-minded Red Stars countering that aggressive approach.
The hosts did create some good possessions, with its best opportunity coming in the 86th minute. The Sky Blue FC attack came in numbers as midfielder Sophie Schmidt entered the penalty area before firing a shot on frame. The ball was then collected by second half substitute Maya Hayes, who turned and set up midfielder Katy Freels with a chance in space. The Auburn product struck a hard shot towards her target, but the attempt sailed high of the crossbar.
After the final minutes then ticked off the game clock, the same 2-0 tally eventually became the final result in favor of the visiting Red Stars.
“We had a lot of confidence coming into tonight, but that may have become a setback for us,” Loyden said of the loss. “We were a little too lax to begin the game, which left us playing on our heels in the first half. We definitely improved in the second half, but, by that time, we were already chasing the game and it was too late.”
Sky Blue FC returns home to Yurcak Field this Sunday night, hosting Seattle Reign FC at 6:00 p.m. To purchase tickets for that game, visit tickets.skybluefc.com or call 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849) today.
Chicago Red Stars vs. Sky Blue FC
May 28, 2014 – Yurcak Field
Chicago Red Stars 2 0 2
Sky Blue FC 0 0 0
27’ CRS A.Leon
35’ CRS L.Chalupny (A.Leon)
CRS Starting XI: LeBlanc, Quon, Johnson, Johnston, Morway, Wenino, Leon (Mautz-66), DiBernardo, Chalupny (C), Bywaters (Sitch-88), Hoy (Brock-88)
Substitutes: Hemmings, Vancil
SBFC Starting XI: Loyden, Rampone (C), Goodson, Johnson (Hayes-84), Levin, Nick, Schmidt, Freels, O’Hara, Ocampo (Foord-65), Filigno (Kiryu-65)
Substitutes Not Used: Cameron, Cutshall, Thompson, Morris
Yellow Card: CRS Samantha Johnson-77
Yellow Card: SBFC Caitlin Foord-84