Draw with Pride eliminates Sky Blue FC

The Equalizer Staff September 7, 2016 9

Sky Blue FC and Orlando Pride both ended losing streaks with a 1-1 draw but the result combined with the Flash earning a point in Boston extinguished Sky Blue’s playoff chances. The upstart New Jersey club reached fourth place after beating the Spirit in July but have not won in four matches since. The Pride had lost five straight and were already eliminated from playoff contention. The draw was their first in club histiory and snapped an NWSL record 17-straight matches without one.

Alex Morgan put the Pride on top in the 23rd minute when she got on the end of a through ball and beat Caroline Casey to put the visitors on top. Sky Blue equalized in the 80th when Sam Kerr played a gorgeous ball in to Maya Hayes. Pride keeper Ashlyn Harris made a stout, kick save but Kerr followed up the play and had an easy finish to equalize. Harris had made an earlier save on Leah Galton but Tasha Kai put the rebound wide.

The result leaves Sky Blue (6-7-5, 23 pts) are six points out of a playoff spot but cannot win any tiebreakers. The Pride (6-11-1, 19 pts) earning a point means the Breakers will finish last for the second year running. The teams will meet again Saturday in Orlando.

  • BCAD

    As a very loyal Sky Blue, year after year they frustrate me especially towards the end of the season. For the past couple of years they always get hot towards the end of the season but usually it was too late. Now, I don’t know if they would have made the playoffs but this season was the closest they have been where I realistically thought they could make it. With that aside, I will still continue to support them and be a fan. For some reason in this game I was extra bitter about that KO tackle from the Chicago game.

    • GT

      I feel your pain. I was particularly frustrated by the number of players who “bailed” in the off-season. If only a couple of them had returned, combined with the excellent college draft Sky Blue had “they could have been a contender”. I thought Holly had an incredible first 14 games as a coach. In the last 4 games he has made some “rookie mistakes”. But it “is what it is.” Also, I hate to be negative, but Tasha Kai has got to go.

      • BCAD

        When I was watching the Portland game I kept thinking what if Nadim hadn’t had left. Her and Sam Kerr up top, combined with Caitlin Foord, which would have moved KO off the back line and a Katy Freels, Killion, Rocky midfield could have been something special. I also wish SB would have given/still give an explanation on what happened with Erin Naylor. We know her side but a statement of some sort would have been appreciated.

  • Guest

    If Kristen Edmonds does not make the best XI then there is something wrong. She is brilliant

  • Ethan

    Evevic (and to others who say Morgan’s not capable of making a defense splitting pass and/or can’t do anything with her right foot), 91:30 on the game clock. She hasn’t been consistent with her longer passes lately, but that pass was excellent. Not a good free kick effort, but I thought this performance was Morgan’s best performance of the NWSL season apart from the Seattle match.

    I thought Weatherholt was very good on the ball in this match, and Edmonds was all over the field with her work ethic.

    Advice to goalkeepers going up against Morgan: don’t go so far off your line; she is very willing to shoot early. Advice to players in on goal against Harris: shoot early before she closes you down; she did well to save Galton’s shot and Hayes’ effort before Kerr’s goal.

    Edit: I also thought Morgan’s pass into Hagen was quite good late in the match. If that had been de Vanna, she probably would have been able to get a shot off. I will say that Morgan should have moved out of de Vanna’s way earlier in stoppage time.

  • Rdalford

    Sky Blue attendance 2055 (from box score on NWSL site Stats page)

    Sky Blue 2016 YTD (2571+1252+1275+2754+1542+1732+1552+31008+2055)
    Sky Blue 2016 YTD total=17841 2016 YTD avg=1982 (mean) median of 1732

    One more Sky Blue home match (Sunday 25th Sept)
    perhaps Rampone’s last match? hope the NJ crowds show up
    Rampone has been key player for Sky Blue for multiple seasons.

    • GT

      31008? That’s fantastic!

    • Rdalford

      typo 3108 ( not 31008)

      • GT

        I know. Just having some fun. Thanks again for you attendance numbers. Very enlightening. (I have to be careful to not make a typo). That wouldn’t look to good would it?