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Game Recap: Sky Blue FC Falls to Houston Dash at Home

Piscataway, NJ (May 5, 2018) – Sky Blue FC (0-3-1) fell 2-3 to the visiting Houston Dash (1-3-2) during NWSL week 6. Both teams were looking to get their first win of the 2018 NWSL season. There were over 2,000 fans in attendance at Yurcak field, and the night conditions were ideal for soccer. This match was the second home game for Sky Blue this season.

Soon after the game started, on the 2’ minute, Rachel Daly finds Kealia Ohai with a through-ball from the midfield, the ball ends in the hands of Sky Blue’s goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan. Sky Blue responded at the 18’ after Lloyd recovered a ball to put Johnson, then Beckie in the box. The short, quick passes and shot made it to Dash’s goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who denies Beckie’s shot.

Although, Sky Blue maintained 58% of the possession during the first half, it was Houston Dash that was able to take advantage of a corner kick opportunity at the 24’. Kristie Mewis service goes over the second post, which Lindsay Agnew recovers, and with the back of her heel, she finds Nichelle Prince who was able to convert. Prince gives the 1-0 advantage to the Dash.

Sky Blue FC changed the dynamics of the game for the second half. The Beez came out more organized, and aggressive, creating more opportunities for the attackers. At the 57’ minute, Carli Lloyd feeds a cross to Janine Beckie on the right, who then finds Johnson in the box and with a one-touch shot,  Johnson is able to equalize the game. There was not enough time to celebrate. Just 2 minutes after the equalizer, Daly’s cross ends in Sheridan’s net putting the Dash ahead 2-1.

Sky Blue responded at the 73’, after Killion feeds the ball to the box where Johnson, once again finds it, only this time it was a nice header to the net, which Campbell was unable to stop. The game was 2-2.

The Dash shuts down Sky Blue’s celebration by taking the lead with a late goal at the 79’ by rookie, Veronica Latsko. Houston Dash 3, Sky Blue FC 2.

Match Takeaway

Although, not the result Sky Blue FC wanted, there were lots of goals and it was an enjoyable game overall.

Sky Blue lacked communication and the ease of transitioning from the midfield forward during the first half. In various occasions, SBFC was set back defensively, unable to connect passes to the attacking line. But that would all change after the first 45′ of the game.

Sky Blue FC was able to improve their ball movement, communication and organization in the midfield. Katie Johnson’s brace was a testament to the team’s improvement and what the offense is capable of. There were great plays by Lloyd, Killion, Beckie and McCaskill.

“We played fairly well in the first half, but I really liked the response we had in the second half tonight,” said Sky Blue FC head coach, Denise Reddy. “We established a good rhythm and scored two goals, but we just came out a little bit unfortunate in the end.”

The next couple of games will be decisive for Sky Blue FC. Carli Lloyd and her precise (and beautiful) crosses, play a key role in the midfield to push the team up. We hope to see more Lloyd-Beckie-Johnson plays for the upcoming matches.

NWSL Week 7

Sky Blue FC is on the road for NWSL week 7 when they visit Seattle Reign FC on Saturday, May 12. Kickoff is set for 10:00pm ET and the match will be live streamed on go90.

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Paola is DoubleGSports' Technical Director and a sports fan who enjoys writing about women's soccer.

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