Seattle Nets Three Second Half Goals to Defeat Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field, 3-1
Piscataway, N.J. (Sunday, June 1, 2014) – Sky Blue FC (2-5-4, 10 Points) welcomed the first-place Seattle Reign FC (8-0-2, 26 Points) into Yurcak Field on Sunday night, with the visiting side claiming a 3-1 result. Sky Blue FC was able to take a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a 42nd minute goal by midfielder Katy Freels, but Seattle countered with three second half scores to earn the victory.
“We had moments where it seemed like we stopped playing,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra commented. “We also need to do a better job of putting our chances away. We could have very easily been up two or three goals in the first half, and that would have changed the complexity of the game in the second half. We know that we have a young team, but we still have to do a better job of maintaining our focus and capitalizing on any opportunities that we create.”
This match opened up with some good back-and-forth action before Sky Blue FC initiated its first legitimate scoring opportunity in the 11th minute. On the play, Japanese midfielder Nanase Kiryu gained possession and raced down the right flank with the ball at her feet. She then quickly looked up and found Mexican striker Monica Ocampo ahead with space before delivering possession to her. Once receiving the feed, Ocampo crossed it to the mouth of the frame, where Kelley O’Hara attempted to get off a shot in traffic. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Seattle defense was able to clear the chance away before they were able to capitalize.
In the 25th minute of this contest, Sky Blue FC was again nearly able to break the stalemate on a play that started off a chip from Kiryu and led Ocampo into a 1v1 situation with Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo. Ocampo took a couple touches with the ball before unloading a hard shot, but Solo was able to close on it and make a point blank save.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 42nd minute on a series that started on the Sky Blue FC back line, with captain Christie Rampone gaining possession before dealing up to O’Hara in the center of the attack. O’Hara gathered the feed before touching a hard pass to Kiryu, who served up Freels on the left corner of the penalty area. Freels then quickly settled before firing a perfect strike that ripped the far side upper 90, just out of the reach of a diving Solo, to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
The tally was eventually knotted up in the 50th minute, with Reign FC striker Beverly Goebel receiving distribution in front of the left-side corner flag. She then drove inside and struck a hard roller to the front of the frame that split the Sky Blue FC defense, arriving at the feet of forward Nahomi Kawasumi by herself in front of Cameron. Before the Sky Blue FC netminder had any time to react, Kawasumi hammered an equalizing shot that was beyond her reach.
With the momentum now on its side, Seattle struck again just three minutes later. Following a whistle in traffic, the visitors were given a free kick opportunity on top of the 18-yard box, just to the left of the circle. Taking the ensuing chance was midfielder Kim Little, who fired an immediate shot on target that struck the back of the right netting. With the notch, Reign FC gained its first lead of the evening, 2-1.
The lead was later stretched to 3-1 in the 74th minute, as Little again wrote her name onto the scoresheet by delivering a ball from the left side that put Kawasumi into an open net situation. The Japanese striker then easily carried the ball across the goal line for her second score of the night, giving Seattle a 3-1 edge that it would maintain until the final whistle.
“In the second half, we came out a little flat, and I don’t think that we were completely committed to our defensive shape as a unit,” Rampone said after the match. “We had good and bad moments, but we tended to lose a little bit of focus at the wrong time.”
Sky Blue FC returns home to Yurcak Field next Sunday night, hosting the Houston Dash at 6:00 p.m. To purchase tickets for that game, visit tickets.skybluefc.com or call 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849) today.
Seattle Reign FC vs. Sky Blue FC
June 1, 2014 – Yurcak Field
Seattle Reign FC 0 3 3
Sky Blue FC 1 0 1
42 SBFC K.Freels (N.Kiryu)
50 SRFC N.Kawasumi (B.Goebel)
53 SRFC K.Little
74 SRFC N.Kawasumi (K.Little)
SRFC Starting XI: Solo, Barnes, Reed, Fletcher, Cox, Little, Fishlock (Deines-90), Winters (C), Kawasumi (Foxhoven-74), Goebel (Dallstream-79), Leroux
Substitutes: Kopmeyer, Nogueira, Brigman
SBFC Starting XI: Cameron, Goodson, Rampone (C), Foord, O’Hara, Levin, Nick, Schmidt (Cutshall-74), Freels, Kiryu (Hayes-83), Ocampo (Filigno-61)
Substitutes: Loyden, Johnson, Thompson, Morris
35 – SRFC S.Leroux