Sky Blue Wins Season Opener 1-0 Over Western New York
Added by Steven Farkas on April 15, 2013.
Photo via SkyBlueFC.com
It wasn’t a pretty goal, in fact it was a down-right ugly goal, but it was all Sky Blue needed to win in its season and home opener against the Western New York Flash. In the 42nd minute of the match Danesha Adams placed a high bending corner kick into the penalty box. The ball bounced around from player to player for what seemed like forever, then it happened, the ball struck McCall Zerboni of Western New York, was redirected towards the goal, and found its way past WNY goalkeeper Adrianna Franch landing in the back of the net for an own goal against the Flash. That was it for the scoring in the game, but it was enough to give Sky Blue FC the only win on the first weekend of play in the NWSL.
It didn’t look good early in the game when CoCo Goodson was called for a foul against Western New York midfielder Veronica Perez in the box leading to a penalty kick in the 15th minute. But Sky Blue goalie Brittany Cameron came up with the save of the game stopping Adriana Martin’s shot and preserving the 0-0 score line at the time.
“Britt saving the penalty was a huge moment for us in the match to get our confidence back,” Sky Blue head coach Jim Gabarra said after the game.
But missing the penalty kick did not stop the onslaught by the Flash in the first half. Wambach just missed another chance in the 21st minute when a long shot from outside the penalty box drifted high and struck the crossbar of the Sky Blue goal. Then just eight minutes later Wambach had another open chance and the shot went over the Sky Blue goal. All throughout the first half the Flash seemed to be destined to put one away with their chances, yet they simply could not finish those chances.
“I thought we created enough chances away from home to at least take a point away from that one,” Western New York coach Aaran Lines said.
But it was not to be. The second half looked more like Sky Blue was trailing in the game and were seeking an equalizing goal then the Flash. Sky Blue were quick and ferocious as they kept the ball in their offensive end for most of the half. The Flash seemed slow and cool with any real hint of desire, they seemed like a team trying to shut down the game then the team who needed a goal to get back into the game and go home with that much desired point that Lines mentioned.
The only real opportunity in the second half for Western New York came at the end of extra time when Abby Wambach came flying down the right side of the field and got her head on a cross right in front of the goal only to watch her header sail high and once again over the cross bar.
“I wasn’t completely happy with the second half performance,” Lines said.
The game was very physical and Sky Blue showed their determination and toughness. They kept pace with the Flash and won a game that most felt would be a win for the Flash and their big name forward. But at least for the first week of play, Sky Blue is at the top of the NWSL standings.