With 3,102 fans in their stands hoping to keep the undefeated season alive, the Washington Spirit fell behind early and lost to Sky Blue FC 2-1.
Prior to kick-off the buzz was that Sky Blue FC moved Kelley O’Hara from her US National Team position of defender and put her up front as a forward. Head Coach Jim Gabarra played O’Hara as a forward during two preseason matches but this was the first regular season match with O’Hara up top.
“Kelley is a very dynamic attacking player,” Gabarra said. “Her presence allowed Lisa and Danesha to rotate positions. The three of them were a handful (for the other team)-tough to defend.”
Sky Blue FC started the scoring just two minutes into the match as CoCo Goodson headed a ball past Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris on a corner kick.
The Spirit got on the board late into the first half as Lori Lindsey put a left footed cross into the box and Diana Matheson beat her defender to the ball and put it into the net.
Just three minutes into the second half, Sky Blue FC’s Sophie Schmidt put a curling shot past Harris to give Sky Blue FC a 2-1 and ultimately the win.
“We’re happy to get a win on the road,” Gabarra said. “It was a well-played match on both sides.”
We’ve also found a few more recaps of Saturday’s match that we wanted to share with you …
Sky Blue FC hold on to beat Spirit 2-1 at EqualizerSoccer.com
For the second time in as many matches, the Spirit forwards failed to record a goal or assist. Several times during the game, McCarty seemed hesitant to pull the trigger. Most notably, in the 41st min, McCarty had a one vs. one opportunity and instead of taking the shot, she attempted to pass the ball when none of her teammates were in the area … Given Miller’s strong performance as a substitution and Jorden’s praise of her post game, will Miller get more playing time next Saturday against the Thorns?
The game was all Sky Blue and they deserved their 1-2 win as some of their players broke through their shells (Coco Goodson and Katy Freels), while the star players (Kelley O’Hara, Lisa DeVanna and Caitlin Foord) maintained their reputation as a talented group of individuals. However the one player who should give themselves a pat on the back is Sophie Schmidt for not only notching the game winning goal, but also pulling off an incredible second half block that prevented the Spirit from getting back into the game. Sky Blue FC has now won two consecutive matches at the start of their NWSL campaign.
Paced by Australian striker Lisa De Vanna, Sky Blue FC (N.J.) continued their perfect start to the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League with a well-deserved 2-1 road victory over the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday night.
Full Match Replay
Goals by Half 1 2 F
SBFC 1 1 2
WSH 1 0 1
SBFC – Goodson (Adams) 2
WSH – Matheson (Lindsey) 35
SBFC – Schmidt (De Vanna) 48
SBFC – O’Hara (caution) 19