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Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue’s Heartbreaking 2-2 Draw Against Utah Royals

Piscataway, NJ (August 18, 2018) – Sky Blue FC (0-14-5, 5 points) match against Utah Royals (7-7-8, 29 points) on Saturday night at Yurcak field during NWSL’s week 21, was one of their best performance this season. The New Jersey team fought hard in front of 3,468 fans in attendance. And, although the match ended in a 2-2 draw, things on the field were different than what the score reflects. This was Utah’s second time ever at Yurcak Field.

Early Advantage

Sky Blue dominated the first half, opening the scoring at the 14th minute. Imani Dorsey on the left side passed the ball to Raquel Rodríguez, who then tried to connect with Carli Lloyd but collected the ball back and served Katie Johnson, who scored to make it 1-0 for Sky Blue.

The New Jersey team continued to dominate with plays from Savannah McCaskill, Johnson and Lloyd in the attack. They were connecting and opening the game, making it difficult for players like Amy Rodriguez and Christen Press to get possession. The game would go to halftime with a 1-0 score in favor of Sky Blue. Their first ever advantage at halftime this season.

Soon after the second half started, at the 48th minute, Johnson would take a rebound ball, making her shot past the Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, to make it a 2-0 for Sky Blue.

Weather Delay

Sky Blue had everything going for them and every player was fighting hard on every play and collecting, until a weather delay stops the game for 37 minutes.

Soon after the match resumed, the New Jersey team’s lead would be compromised at the 58th minute. Amy Rodriguez’ loose shot ends in Sky Blue’s Sheridan’s net, after being deflected by Domi Richardson, putting Utah the score 2-1.

Utah would start to pick up momentum and leave Sky Blue’s defense vulnerable. You could not help but notice how hard Sky Blue’s players were fighting to keep the three points at home and give the team and the fans their first win this season. As time ran out, the 4th official indicated there would be a 3-minute minimum stoppage time. These were probably the longest 3 minutes for Sky Blue.

As Utah pushes all of its players up and go on the attack, it is survival mode for the New Jersey team. Utah kept on attacking until the heartbreaking equalizer by Amy Rodriguez comes at the 94th minute, to end the match in a 2-2 draw. Denise Reddy, Sky Blue’s head coach, was notably upset with the decision of the central referee to extend stoppage time.

“He [central referee] added time to extra time because I was stalling the game, which was untrue.” said Sky Blue goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan. “He told me that post 93 minutes it was my fault that he added on extra time,” added Sheridan.

“They [Sky Blue] deserved more out of this performance,” Reddy said after the game.

NWSL Week 22

Sky Blue is on the road against the Portland Thorns on Wednesday, August 22 for a 11:00pm E.T kickoff. You can watch the game live on or on the NWSL app.

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

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