Piscataway, N.J. (Sunday, June 8, 2014) – Sky Blue FC (2-6-4, 10 Points) welcomed the Houston Dash (3-7-1, 10 Points) into Yurcak Field on Sunday night, with the visiting side claiming a 3-0 result. The Dash was led by a two-goal effort from forward Tiffany McCarty on the evening, with goalkeeper Erin McLeod registering a seven-save shutout in net.
“When it came to playing with cohesion, we were lacking tonight,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “Houston is fighting for their lives, just as we are, so we knew they were going to come in here, play hard and make it difficult for us. There were times when it looked like we were getting onto the same page, but we struggled in terms of working together for long periods of time.”
From the opening whistle, both teams aggressively attacked the penalty area on the offensive end, and each goalkeeper had some early touches on the ball. The road side eventually opened the scoring in the 10th minute, as McCarty collected distribution at the left corner of the box. She then quickly turned and fired a hard curler towards the frame that was beyond the fingertips of Sky Blue FC netminder Jill Loyden, giving Houston a 1-0 advantage.
In the 20th minute of play, the Dash extended its lead to 2-0 following a series that began off a throw-in on the far side of the field. After a couple of passes, the ball arrived at the feet of Houston midfielder Becky Edwards, who struck a cross to the front of the goal. There awaiting the feed was Ella Masar, and the Dash striker was able to redirect a header into the back of the net to make it a 2-0 game.
Sky Blue FC created a good scoring opportunity in the 58th minute, following some crafty footwork from forward Nanase Kiryu to work her way into space on the left flank. The Japanese striker then looked towards the center of the attack before delivering a cross into the penalty area, where forward Jonelle Filigno was able to collect and fire a shot on frame. Unfortunately for the hosts, McLeod was able to make a diving save of the well-struck attempt.
In the 66th minute of this contest, Sky Blue FC was again on the attack, with forward Kelley O’Hara and midfielder Katy Freels hammering two point blank shots in front of the frame that McLeod was somehow able to turn away.
The final tally of this match was scored in the 79th minute on a long ball that was sent into the center of the Houston offense from the midfield. Loyden came off her line in an attempt to play the ball, but McCarty was able to knock it loose of her possession. With an open net behind Loyden, McCarty then chipped a shot over her head that Sky Blue FC captain Christie Rampone was nearly able to clear, but she was unable to do so before the ball rolled across the goal line. With the notch, the 3-0 result was hung in favor of the visiting side.
Sky Blue FC now hits the road to visit the Chicago Red Stars next Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., returning home to Yurcak Field on Sunday, June 22nd, to host the Boston Breakers at 1:00 p.m. To purchase tickets for that game, visit tickets.skybluefc.com or call 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849) today.
Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue FC
June 8, 2014 – Yurcak Field
Houston Dash 2 1 3
Sky Blue FC 0 0 0
10 HOU T.McCarty
20 HOU E.Masar (B.Edwards)
79 HOU T.McCarty
HOU Starting XI: McLeod (C), Engen, Ohale, Romero, Kyle, Edwards, Ohai, McCarty (Jackson-81), Burger (Souza-64), Ochs, Masar (Noyola-57)
Substitutes: Henninger, Diggs, McFarlane
SBFC Starting XI: Loyden, Rampone (C), Goodson (Cutshall-46), Foord, Johnson (Filigno-46), Freels, Nick, Levin, O’Hara, Schmidt, Kiryu (Hayes-82)
Substitutes: Cameron, Ocampo, Thompson, Morris
86 SBFC K.Freels (Yellow Card)
90+ SBFC A.Nick (Yellow Card)