Reign, Sky Blue trade penalties in 1-1 draw

Dan Lauletta April 15, 2017 30
Mandy Freeman and Lindsay Elston battle for possession in Seattle and Sky Blue's 1-1 draw. (photo by Jane Gershovich, ISI Photo)

Mandy Freeman and Lindsay Elston battle for possession in Seattle and Sky Blue’s 1-1 draw. (photo by Jane Gershovich, ISI Photo)

The Reign and Sky Blue traded penalty kicks around the hour mark on their way to a season-opening, 1-1 draw at Memorial Stadium. It marked the second straight season the Reign opened at home by failing to beat Sky Blue. A year ago, the New Jersey club started six rookies in a shock, 2-1 victory. This time around a mature away side carried more of the play and may have had the full three points if not for a stellar performance out of Reign keeper Haley Kopmeyer.

Both teams played, measured, tactical soccer but it was Sky Blue that created the higher quantity of credible chances through the creative smarts of Kelley O’Hara and Samantha Kerr at the striker positions. Sky Blue also got the better of a Reign midfield still trying to acclimate itself from the loss of Kim Little to Arsenal and Keelin Winters to retirement.

The first goal went to the home side after Megan Rapinoe won a penalty by dribbling the ball away from and wide of goal and was fouled by Erica Skroski. Rapinoe took the kick herself, freezing rookie Kailen Sheridan in her tracks and pounding it home just to the keeper’s left.

Minutes later, Kerr had acres of space down the right side and delivered a far-post cross to O’Hara who was dragged down by Merritt Mathias. That put Sky Blue on the spot and Sarah Killion stepped up and barely eluded the outstretched arm of Kopmeyer who correctly went low to her right.

Kopmeyer made several quality saves down the stretch to preserve the draw and the Reign nearly got one themselves on a Merritt Mathias header deep in the area in the 90th minute.

The Reign (0-0-1, 1 pt) are back at Memorial next Saturday to host the Dash against whom they are a perfect 7-0-0 all-time. Sky Blue (0-0-1, 1 pt) are in Boston on Sunday and are the only team who will not have played at home by the end of next weekend. Their home opener is April 30 against FC Kansas City.

  • Steglitz49

    Not much interest in either Seattle nor Sky Blue these days.

    • guest

      I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned that Rampone is back to Pearce, given your obsession with women’s surnames and marital status.

      • guest123

        I guess that explains why Abby Wambach was her date to her final game. I thought it was a bit glaring that her husband wasn’t there.

        • guest

          True, an unfortunate situation especially for the young girls, but I wish them the best. It’s weird though, since she was supposedly retiring from SB after last season to open a restaurant with her husband. Maybe that’s why she stayed on for a last season.

          • Steglitz49

            It was Annemarie Moser-Proell who opened a bar/restaurant with he hubby when she retired. When he died, she sold it.

        • sara

          I’m not a huge Abby Fan esp post 2012, but I thought that was sweet. I had heard the rumor that Rampone separated from her husband as a SB fan … who better to give her moral support than her fellow captain and USWNT legend.

        • guest

          the timing is curious

      • GT

        I was wondering about that myself. I hope it works out for the best. The husband had been very “low profile” over the years.

    • Vintage Rider

      Certainly not on websites by Seattle fans. Even on the Reign specific sites, 6 posts is a lot.
      Maybe has to do with the type of fan. My observation of fans at the game (and my own practice I must say) is to clap for goals, particularly good runs, or defensive stops. We also say clever things like “Pretty ball”, “Well played”, or “Nice” Occasionally we get involved in a chant.

      I missed the announced attendance, but it looked like a fair turnout. Just not an effusive bunch, either on the boards or in person.

    • WosoFanatic

      No Mention of the Lack of Conviction of Megan Rapinoe. Why isn’t she taking a knee anymore. The league didn’t make a rule preventing it. I can’t imagine the issue she was taking a knee for has been solved already. I wonder if it has anything to do with the new and much larger paycheck she’s getting from US Soccer. Did she ever even take a knee at her home field?

      • guest

        i guess trump has already made america great again.

        • Guest

          If anything I would have thought Trump being elected would cause her to permanently take a knee.

      • guest

        Mockmook and HOFC have produced offspring!

  • DNG

    Great match. SBFC is a very enjoyable team to watch. Just need to be a little more clinical in front of goal.

    • I said the same thing last night. Was at the game, and it was a lot of fun to watch Sky Blue play. O’Hara and Kerr together are a great partnership. If they can stay healthy, it’ll be a fun season. They were so close to putting together a few goals tonight and I trust that the chemistry will come between those two. The fact that they both seem to have a never-ending motor helps as well.

      Sheridan’s distribution is a bit atrocious, hopefully that will improve as the season goes. Otherwise, our defense looked pretty good. Loved Mills and thought Freeman had a great game as well. Having Pearce next to them and coaching them in-game was great, and they will learn quickly.

      Pinoe’s PK call was at the other end of the field from where I was sitting but I will say the ref was extremely inconsistent. There were two clear fouls on Sky Blue right before the first PK call that were ignored.

  • Guest

    What’s up with Sky Blue wearing what look to be warm up shirts? No sponsors for them at all? Can’t be a good sign.

  • GT

    What did people think of the go90 experience? For me it stunk. It kept “buffering”, the sound went in and out. Maybe it was my phone. Maybe I need to get “unlimited data”.

    • Terry Lash

      I had no problems using my iPad with Chromcast. Good picture, no buffering.

      • JL

        I used Chromecast with my Android and had no problems either.

        • Vintage Rider

          I used it at the game for a bit using my data. Good picture and no buffering. The play by play was about a minute behind the game, so not so good if you want to listen during the game, or watch replays.

  • Lisa

    Safe to say we missed Little and Winters. The midfield was chaos for most of the game – couldn’t string passes together at all. I thought things started flowing much better when Umi subbed on and we got more poise and quick touches from everyone. Kop had some huge saves and kept us in it. The 15 (pinoe) vs 15 (mills) battle was intense. Mills and Kerr stood out for me on Sky Blue.

    So the Merrit pk call was legit? From the stands I thought they were both going for the ball and just got tangled – but …. Merrit doesn’t exactly have the best track record for fouls in the box.

  • Guest

    Why wasn’t there ever anything mentioned about Larissa Crummer’s right foot fracture? Pretty significant since she was supposed to fill Manon Melis’s role

    • mockmook

      Thought they knew of the injury when they signed her, or was it before the injury?

      • captainfate

        They signed her after the injury.

  • BCAD

    As a SBFC fan the number of f-bombs I dropped during this game was crazy. So many goals they could have had. But I am hopeful for the season

  • WosoFanatic

    No Mention of the Lack of Conviction of Megan Rapinoe. Why isn’t she taking a knee anymore. The league didn’t make a rule preventing it. I can’t imagine the issue she was taking a knee for has been solved already. I wonder if it has anything to do with the new and much larger paycheck she’s getting from US Soccer. Did she ever even take a knee at her home field?

  • GT

    A little surprised to see Lyle started over Corboz. The pre-season buzz seemed to favor Corboz. Also hope to see Hayes get more playing time as the season progresses.

    • Guest

      Could try Kerr on the wing, Rodriguez at CF with O’Hara and Corboz in the AM spot and thus taking out lytle