Boyds, Md. (Sept. 2, 2018) – After severe weather caused the postponement of a match originally scheduled for Saturday night, Sky Blue FC (0-16-6, 6 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Sunday, drawing with the Washington Spirit (2-17-5, 11 points) at the Maryland SoccerPlex, 1-1. Washington took a 1-0 advantage in the 71st minute of this game on an Arielle Ship finish, but Sky Blue FC captain Sarah Killion retaliated with an equalizer in the 87th minute that hung the final tally.
Coming out with an aggressive tone, Sky Blue FC spent a great deal of time in its attacking third throughout the opening half of play. The visiting side was able to create a very good opportunity in the 5th minute of play when Shea Groom entered the left side of the box before centering a ball for Madison Tiernan, who touched around a defender and fired a strike that forced a diving stop by Spirit netminder Aubrey Bledsoe.
Sky Blue FC continued to create chances and soon found itself with a penalty kick opportunity after Killion was taken down inside the box in the 27th minute. Stepping over the ensuing try was Groom, who rifled a shot that struck the crossbar.
In the 41st minute, Washington saw a chance arise when Francisca Ordega was played into a 1v1 run against Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, but defender Domi Richardson quickly tracked her and cleared the ball from danger.
At the start of the second half, Sky Blue FC nearly leveled the count when Groom fired a 48th minute shot that forced another diving save by Bledsoe. In the 56th minute, the New Jersey club was on the attack once again when Killion played Groom into a 1v1 situation with Bledsoe, but the Washington netminder came off her post to stop the run.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 71st minute after Sheridan made a series of consecutive saves to keep the Spirit out of her net. Unfortunately for the New Jersey goalkeeper, Ship was able to get one final touch on a loose ball that was just out of range, giving Washington a 1-0 lead.
After that notch, Sky Blue FC immediately went in heavy pursuit of an equalizer, and the team nearly got one in the 78th minute when McKenzie Meehan hammered a hard strike into the left upper 90 of the crossbar.
In the 87th minute, the game-tying score finally came for the visitors. The sequence got started when Tiernan tracked a ball on the right side of the area before sending it back to the top of the box. After Groom dummied the ball, Killion was there to blast a shot that found the back of the net and made it a 1-1 contest.
After equalizing the count, Sky Blue FC chased a game-winner all the way to the final whistle, but the 1-1 tally remained when this game ended.
Sky Blue FC will now conclude its current four-game road stretch on Tuesday at the Chicago Red Stars before returning home to Yurcak Field for its 2018 season finale this Saturday, September 8, hosting the Orlando Pride for a noon kickoff. Tickets for that game are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849). The first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a Carli Lloyd bobblehead, courtesy of Brielle Orthopedics.
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NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: September 2, 2018
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Maryland
Weather: 83 degrees, sunny
NJ: 0 | 1 – 1
WAS: 0 | 1 – 1
71 WAS Arielle Ship
87 NJ Sarah Killion (Madison Tiernan)
NJ: Sheridan, Frisbie, Richardson, Freeman, Skroski, Hoy (Pierre-Louis-70), Gibbons, Killion, Tiernan (Bona-89), Meehan (Driesse-83), Groom
Subs not used: Casey, Cuevas
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
WAS: Bledsoe, Crosson, Clark, Church, Dyadasco, Dougherty Howard, Lohman, Farquharson (Ship-58), Solaun, McCarty (Newfield-70), Ordega
Subs Not Used: Ruhl, Smith
Interim Head Coach: Tom Torres
Stats Summary: WAS / NJ
Shots: 10 / 20
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 14 / 7
Offside: 5 / 3
58 NJ Sarah Killion (Yellow Card)
Referee: Mike Hohnholz
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Osterhouse
Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Davis
Fourth Official: Max Smith
Saker ShopRites Player of the Match: Sarah Killion