Sky Blue FC Rolls Past FC Gold Pride and Into Final Weekend
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (August 5, 2009) - Sky Blue FC charged into the final weekend of the Women's Professional Soccer season and moved one step closer to a spot in the playoffs with a commanding 2-0 victory over FC Gold Pride in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd of 5,455 at Yurcak Field. Rosana and Natasha Kai scored the goals for Sky Blue FC.
With the victory, Sky Blue FC moved into a tie for third place with a 7-7-5 record for 26 points. The Washington Freedom and Boston Breakers are the other two teams fighting for the final two playoff spots. Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, Washington has an identical 7-7-5 mark but currently holds the tiebreaker with a victory and tie against Sky Blue FC. The pressure is on Boston with the Breakers sitting one point back at 7-8-4 for 25 points.
Sky Blue FC travels to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday to take on the Freedom at 7 p.m. in the season finale. Boston hosts the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol on Sunday at 6 p.m. in a must-win game for the Breakers.
The match was the first for Sky Blue FC with Christie Rampone serving as interim player/coach. The match didn't start smoothly with goalkeeper Karen Bardsley replacing Jenni Branam in the starting lineup at the last minute forcing Sky Blue FC to use one of its substitutions, but that was the only thing that went wrong all night for the home side.
Sky Blue FC held a 22-6 advantage in shots and Bardsley, who earned a spot on the England National Team for the Women's EURO Tournament next month, needed just two saves to register the shutout.
Sky Blue FC held an 11-2 edge in shots in the first half but couldn't break through. Kai headed a corner kick from Yael Averbuch just wide of the post in the 18th minute and FC Gold Pride keeper Nicole Barnhart did a good job to pick the ball off the foot of Kai in the 35th minute.
FC Gold Pride's best chance of the game came from Christine Sinclair in the 43rd minute, but Bardsley came up big to slide through the Canadian striker on a breakaway to keep the game scoreless.
After halftime, Sky Blue FC took control of the game right away as Rosana scored just 46 seconds into the second half. Heather O'Reilly carried the ball up the right side and floated a serve into the box that the Brazilian midfielder headed into the right side of the goal from eight yards out.
Sky Blue FC continued to threaten as Kacey White curled a 15-yard shot off the left post in the 59th minute. Two minutes later, Collette McCallum, who checked into the game seconds earlier, lofted a perfect ball forward for Kai and the Sky Blue FC striker took a touch before slotting a shot past a charging Barnhart for the 2-0 lead.
Sinclair rolled a shot just past the post in the 67th minute before Barnhart denied Kai once in the 70th minute and twice back-to-back in the 74th minute.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from August 5, 2009
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