Sky Blue FC Completes Preseason with Fourth Straight Shutout
Photo by Dennis Schneidler
New Jersey Side Blanks Rutgers University, 2-0
Toms River, N.J. (Sunday, March 29, 2015) – Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) concluded its 2015 Preview Series Presented by Meridian Health on Sunday night, defeating Rutgers University at Toms River North High School, 2-0. The shutout, which was recorded by goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, was the fourth consecutive clean sheet to cap off a perfect preseason record (4-0-0).
“Tonight was a tough challenge for us in the first half,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “We came out a little flat and were not able to come up with the correct answers right away. In the second half, we began to apply more pressure and pushed them back. We did a good job of creating chances, but we were not nearly good enough in the final third, which is why we were only able to score a couple of goals.”
Sky Blue FC opened the scoring in this match in the 14th minute, coming off a free kick taken atop the 18 by midfielder Katy Freels. The third-year starter stepped over the ball on the attempt and hammered a hard shot that was beyond the reach of Rutgers netminder Casey Murphy, ripping the left netting and giving Sky Blue FC a 1-0 advantage.
In the 17th minute, Rutgers nearly equalized when forward Rachel Cole came down the left blank with the ball and drew Bledsoe off her post. After creating the opportunity, Cole then struck a shot on frame that appeared to be heading across the goal line. However, Sky Blue FC defender Maruschka Waldus quickly tracked down the attempt and cleared it away the instant before it headed into the net.
After the scare, Sky Blue FC began to create a number of good chances on the offensive end of the field, with Freels and midfielder Sarah Killion working together in great unison to ignite the opportunities.
In the 71st minute, Freels stole possession in the midfield before looking up and delivering a perfectly placed through-ball to forward Maya Hayes on the left flank. The New Jersey native then shook off a couple of defenders to establish some space in front of the frame, but her ensuing shot attempt ended up being just wide of the mark.
Sky Blue FC was finally able to increase its advantage in the 79th minute, with Killion knifing her way through the middle of the Rutgers defense before sending a hard roller to midfielder Theresa Diederich on the right once the back line collapsed on her. Diederich then quickly collected before redirecting a rifling shot that was beyond the extension of Murphy, hanging the final 2-0 tally on the scoreboard.
With the preseason slate now in the books, Sky Blue FC shifts its focus to the NWSL regular season. The team will open the season on the road when it travels to FC Kansas City on Sunday, April 12th. The team will play its home opener at Yurcak Field (Rutgers, Piscataway) on Saturday, April 18th, at 7:00 p.m., and tickets for that match are on sale now. Season tickets are also available (10 home matches), with packages starting as low as $120. Make sure you catch all of the world class NWSL action this season at Yurcak Field by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849)!
Sky Blue FC vs. Rutgers University
March 29, 2015 – Toms River North High School
Toms River, New Jersey
Sky Blue FC: 1-1-2
SBFC 14 K.Freels
SBFC 79 T.Diederich (S.Killion)
SBFC – A.Bledsoe, M.Morris, N.Stanton, K.Grubka, M.Waldus, S.Gordon, T.Diederich, S.Killion, K.Freels, M.Hayes, L.LaBonta
Substitutes Not Used: G.Wagner, J.Grubb
RU: C.Murphy, E.Skroski, R.Cole, A.Ryan, H.Katkowski, M.Morash, S.Valliant, E.Smith, B.Reed, C.Puchalski, T.Prager, M.Tiernan
Substitutes (Open Substitution): A.Jiminez, J.Seddon, G.Moreno, C.Benintente, J.Sexton, C.Inacio, J.Andresen, E.Sousa, J.Puchalski, S.Phillips, T.Ahde, B.Scarola, B.Benedict, C.Norton