Sky Blue FC (9-10-2, 29 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Sunday, falling to FC Kansas City (7-9-5, 26 points) at Children’s Mercy Victory Field, 4-1.
Sky Blue FC created positive momentum in the early going of this match-up, which presented some scoring opportunities. The New Jersey side nearly got itself on the board in the 24th minute, as Daphne Corboz sent a ball to the left side of the penalty area. Initially putting a head on the ball was Maya Hayes, and Erica Skroski then followed up that touch with a header on frame that FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart punched over the crossbar.
FC Kansas City eventually broke the deadlock just before halftime, hitting a go-ahead tally in the 42nd minute. On that scoring sequence, Shea Groom broke free with possession as she ran towards goal, eventually playing Lo’eau LaBonta as she overlapped her left side. Sky Blue FC netminder Kailen Sheridan stretched out in an attempt to collect the feed, but LaBonta finished it before Sheridan was able to do so.
In the 44th minute, FC Kansas City extended its lead to a pair of goals. On a play that started with a Barnhart goal kick, LaBonta volleyed a ball that landed perfectly for a racing Groom. After she sped onto the feed, Groom took two touches before striking a right-footed shot into the back of the net, sending her team into the intermission with a 2-0 edge.
FC Kansas City eventually stretched its advantage to 3-0 in the 64th minute. On the series, Desiree Scott chipped a ball from the left side of the penalty area that found Groom, who then took a shot on frame. Sheridan saved that initial attempt, but Groom was there to collect the rebound and score her second goal of the match.
Sky Blue FC was able to pull one back in the 83rd minute of this contest. On that conversion, Taylor Lytle delivered a well-placed corner kick that found the head of Madison Tiernan, who redirected the ball past Barnhart to put her team on the board.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, FC Kansas City recorded its fourth goal of the evening, as Maegen Kelly made a quick start of a free kick opportunity. She played the restart to Sydney Leroux, who sped towards goal before finishing the late opportunity, which hung the final 4-1 tally.
Sky Blue FC returns home to New Jersey next Sunday, September 10, hosting the Washington Spirit for a 6:00 p.m. kickoff at Yurcak Field in Piscataway. Individual tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
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NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City
Date: September 3, 2017
Venue: Children’s Mercy Victory Field
Weather: 89 degrees, hot
NJ: 0 | 0 – 0
KC: 2 | 2 – 4
42 KC Lo’eau LaBonta (Shea Groom)
44 KC Shea Groom (Lo’eau LaBonta)
64 KC Shea Groom
83 NJ Madison Tiernan (Taylor Lytle)
90+4 KC Sydney Leroux (Maegen Kelly)
NJ: Sheridan, Skroski, Freeman, Richardson, Mills (Benintente-60), O’Hara, Lytle, Killion, Corboz (Tiernan-64), Kerr, Hayes
Subs not used: Casey, Rodriguez, Meehan
Game Day Coach: David Hodgson
KC: Barnhart, Moros, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn, Taylor, Gobbons, Scott, Bowen (Ratcliffe-71), Labonta (Kelly-62), Groom (Flynn-87), Leroux
Subs Not Used: Tymrak, Parkhill, Newfield, Miramontez
Head Coach: Vlatko Andovnovski
Stats Summary: KC / NJ
Shots: 15 / 11
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 1 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 6
Offside: 7 / 0
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referee 1: TJ Zablocki
Assistant Referee 2: Emily Fletcher
Fourth Official: Devin Blazek