Sky Blue FC Extends Unbeaten Streak Over Houston Dash to Eight Games, 3-1
Sky Blue FC (2-2-1, 7 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Saturday, burying three goals for the second consecutive week to defeat the Houston Dash (2-3-0, 6 points) in the NWSL on Lifetime Game of the Week, 3-1. Three different players scored for Sky Blue FC, with Australia international Sam Kerr registering a goal and an assist en route to claiming Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match honors.
“We are delighted to rebound this week by picking up three points against a very talented Houston team,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We know that we must continue improving our overall performance, but scoring three goals in back-to-back games away from home is a direct indication of what this team is capable of achieving. There are a lot of positives for us to take away from this game, and we will apply them into our preparation for next week.”
Sky Blue FC nearly got on the board in the 16th minute today on a very well-connected play. On the series, Kerr raced inside the final third with possession before feeding midfielder Taylor Lytle on the left flank. Lytle then quickly collected before sending a cross to the far post, where Sarah Killion one-touched a volley that appeared to be heading into the goal. Unfortunately for the visiting side, her shot pinged off the crossbar.
In the 32nd minute, Sky Blue FC earned a penalty kick after Kerr received a high boot to her face from Houston defender Bruna inside the box. Calmly stepping over the ensuing try was Killion, who sent Dash netminder Lydia Williams one direction before hammering her shot the other way. The goal marked the fourth of the season for Killion, giving her team a 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC stretched the lead to 2-0 on a brilliant sequence in the 53rd minute. On the play, Kerr collected in the midfield and raced through the center of the park, causing three defenders to collapse on her. As soon as she saw the area become crowded, Kerr no-looked a feed to an overlapping Leah Galton, sending her into a wide-open space that created a 1v1 situation with Williams. The England international then touched around Williams before burying a left-footed strike that gave her side a two-goal advantage.
The Dash nearly got one back in the 70th minute on a corner kick. After the ball was put into play, Bruna headed a would-be goal towards the frame, but defender Mandy Freeman was perfectly positioned to clear it off her line.
Houston would finally get on the board in the 76th minute, as forward Kealia Ohai served a ball from the right flank that found Poliana, who fired the ball into the right-side netting. With the goal, the score decreased to 2-1 in favor of Sky Blue FC.
Sky Blue FC eventually put this contest away in the 87th minute. On the scoring series, forward McKeenzie Meehan collected on top of the 18 before turning and feeding a hard roller to Kerr on her right. The Australia international then somehow found a tiny opening between two defenders, firing a hard strike between them that also beat her international teammate Williams to put up the final 3-1 tally. The goal was the 12th for Kerr as a member of Sky Blue FC, making her even with Kelley O’Hara and just off the franchise record of 13 scores (Nadia Nadim).
After experiencing a significant offensive outburst for the second week in a row, Sky Blue FC was able to score three goals in consecutive matches for the first time since July of 2015. Additionally, the result extended the team’s unbeaten streak over Houston to eight straight games (5-0-3).
Sky Blue FC will now return home to Yurcak Field next Saturday, May 20, hosting the Houston Dash in the NWSL on Lifetime Game of the Week. Kickoff for that match is slated for 4:00 p.m., and tickets are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, visit the team online and follow us on social media: @SkyBlueFC
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Houston Dash
Date: May 13, 2016
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Weather: 85 degrees, hot
NJ: 1 | 2 – 3
HOU: 0 | 1 – 1
33 NJ Sarah Killion (Penalty Kick)
53 NJ Leah Galton (Sam Kerr)
76 HOU Poliana (Kealia Ohai)
87 NJ Sam Kerr (McKenzie Meehan)
NJ: Sheridan, Simon (Mills-77), Pearce, Freeman, Skroski, Lytle (Tiernan-73), Stanton, Killion, Rodriguez, Galton (Meehan-62), Kerr
Subs not used: Casey, Richardson, Corboz, Hayes
Head Coach: Christy Holly
HOU: Williams; Roccaro, Bruna, Van Wyk (Hagen-75), Levin; Brooks; Beckie, Brian, (Poliana-61) Prince (Andressa-46), Daly, Ohai
Subs Not Used: Campbell, Falknor, Henderson, Heap
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: HOU / NJ
Shots: 14 / 8
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 11
Offside: 2 / 2
65 NJ Raquel Rodriguez (Yellow Card)
87 HOU Amber Brooks (Yellow Card)
Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Bermudez
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Mike Arrington
Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match: Sam Kerr