Sky Blue FC Offense Hits Full Stride against St. John's University
Manalapan, N.J. - Sky Blue FC concluded its 2018 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Sunday, playing St. John's University at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. The Sky Blue FC attack found great rhythm in the contest, with five different goal-scorers leading the club to a 6-0 victory.
"It was great to finally have everyone back with the team. Even though we had some players in new positions, we were able to stay true to how we want to play, both with and without the ball," said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. "We were continually substituting throughout the second half, and I was excited to see that we never lost our identity. Whether we were defending or in the attack, we did not lost sight of what we were trying to do. Overall, I am really happy with how we performed today."
Sky Blue FC was clicking cohesively throughout the field and jumped out to an early lead in the 11th minute. On that go-ahead tally, forward Janine Beckie received the ball beyond the 18-yard box and blasted a hard shot that squeezed over St. John's goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro, who made a number of tough saves in the match-up.
Sky Blue FC extended its advantage to 2-0 on an offensive series in the 34th minute. Beckie first baited the goalkeeper to come off her post before playing midfielder Carli Lloyd on a run to the left flank, where the two-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year delivered a hard roller to the middle of the box. Receiving it was forward Katie Johnson, who fired a shot that hit the post. Collecting the rebound was Shea Groom, and the Sky Blue FC forward struck a ball towards the frame that was kick-saved by Tammaro. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez was there to gather, first seeing a right-footed shot blocked by a defender before sending a ball into the back of the net with her left foot.
Following the start of the second half, Sky Blue FC needed just a bit more than 30 seconds before Beckie scored the second goal of a brace, finishing off a feed from Groom.
Sky Blue FC remained on the attack following that third tally of the afternoon, extending the lead to 4-0 in the 56th minute. On that sequence, forward Savannah McCaskill traveled down the end line with possession and centered for forward Adriana Leon, who put away a one-timer.
In the 63rd minute, McCaskill added a goal to the stat sheet to make it 5-0, hammering a thunderous strike from inside the 18. The final 6-0 count was then placed on the board in the 65th minute, as Tammaro deflected a hard shot from Leon into the air, where Groom climbed the ladder to finish off the series with a goal-scoring header.
With its 2018 Preseason Presented by Sportika Sports now officially in the books, Sky Blue FC shifts its focus to the regular season. First up, the team travels to the North Carolina Courage for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, March 31. Sky Blue FC then returns to New Jersey on Sunday, April 15, hosting Seattle Reign FC for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff in its home opener at Yurcak Field. Tickets for that match are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
2018 Sky Blue FC season, half-season and individual game tickets are all on sale now, and fans can purchase tickets 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. St. John's University
Date: March 18, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 2 | 4 - 6
SJU: 0 | 0 - 0
11 NJ Janine Beckie
34 NJ Raquel Rodriguez
46 NJ Janine Beckie (Shea Groom)
56 NJ Adriana Leon (Savannah McCaskill)
63 NJ Savannah McCaskill
65 NJ Shea Groom
Starting XI: Sheridan, Hoy, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Moreno, Rodriguez, Lloyd, Beckie, Johnson, Groom
Substitutes: Casey, McCaskill, Leon, Meehan, Mills, Richardson, Conheeney, Flores, Abam, Palacios, Stott
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
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