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Saturday brings mixed results for NWSL teams

2013 NWSL MVP Lauren Holiday scored twice for FC Kansas City in Saturday's preseason win over Kansas. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

A bevy of NWSL preseason action on Saturday produced a wide variety of results across the country, with three teams prevailing victorious, Sky Blue FC falling to perennial college power North Carolina and the Washington Spirit tying the University of Virginia.

That all came a day after Portland Thorns FC’s 10-0 demolition of the University of Arizona.

(And a tip o’ the cap to Saturday being the five year anniversary of the first Women’s Professional Soccer game, as detailed by ex-Boston Breakers GM Andy Crossley.)

Sky Blue FC 1, University of North Carolina 2

The biggest result of the day came from New Jersey, where Sky Blue FC fell 2-1 to UNC. The Tar Heels struck first in the 19th minute when midfielder Joanna Boyles chipped Jill Loyden.

Sky Blue defender Kendall Johnson struck the equalizer in the 39th minute after collecting a through-ball from Ashley Nick, who made a late-season impact with the team in 2013 after joining from Pali Blues (now LA Blues). But UNC stole the show on the rain-soaked day as Emily Bruder collected a loose ball in the 73rd minute and tucked in the game-winning goal.

Also, apparently ex-Jets and now Eagles QB Mark Sanchez was at the game (we have no idea why, either):

SBFC: Jill Loyden, Kendall Johnson, Lindsi Cutshall (CoCo Goodson 46), Maddie Thompson, Kelley O’Hara; Taylor Lytle, Ashley Nick, Sophie Schmidt, Katy Freels (Nanase Kiryu 46), Maya Hayes; Jonelle Filigno

Substitutes Not Used: Brittany Cameron, Christie Rampone, Caitlin Foord, Cami Levin, Rachel Breton, Trish DiPaolo, Nikki Stanton, Yirlania Arroyo Fonseca

UNC: Bryane Heaberlin (Lindsey Harris 46), Hanna Gardner (Maya Worth 60), Katie Bowen, Satara Murray; Brooke Elby, Joanna Boyles, Darcy McFarlane, Cameron Castleberry (Danae O’Halloran 78); Emily Bruder, Amber Munerlyn (Paige Nielsen 69), Summer Green

Substitutes Not Used: Sarah Ashley Firstenberg, Amanda Rooney, Jenny Chiu, Niki Romero

FC Kansas City 3, University of Kansas 1

Lauren Holiday scored twice to lead the Blues to a 3-1 victory over Kansas on Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski chose to play a full-strength lineup with the regular season just two weeks away, implementing his favored 4-2-3-1 formation with Becky Sauerbrunn and Nikki Phillips (nee Krzysik) as center backs now that Lauren Sesselmann is no longer with the team.

Amy Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 12th minute on a feed from Holiday and three minutes later Holiday found net on a shot of her own. Kansas got back into the game before halftime through a goal from Ashley Williams in the 31st minute, but Holiday iced the game from the penalty spot in the 51st minute.

FCKC lineup: Keane, Robinson (Williams 56’), Sauerbrunn, Phillips, Kallman (65’), Buczkowski (Silva 62’), Richmond (Geha 65’), Mathias (Bogus 46’), Holiday (Henderson 62’), Tymrak (Kelly 60’), Rodriguez (56’)

Houston Dash 7, Texas Tech 0

NWSL expansion side Houston Dash rolled to a comfortable 7-0 victory to improve to 3-1-0 in preseason. Tiffany McCarty scored twice and No. 2 overall draft pick Kealia Ohai added a goal and an assist in the effort. The Dash play Texas A&M on Wednesday.

Scoring Summary:
Houston: Nikki Washington 1 (Stephanie Ochs 1) 30
Houston: Tiffany McCarty 2 (Kealia Ohai 2) 32
Houston: Tiffany McCarty 3 (Arianna Romero 1) 48
Houston: Lindsay Elston 1 (unassisted) 73
Houston: Kealia Ohai 2 (Lindsay Elston 1, Becky Edwards 1) 77
Houston: Brittany Bock 1 (Arianna Romero 2) 87

Houston Dash lineup: Erin McLeod; Arianna Romero, Marissa Diggs (Dominique Richardson* 68), Holly Hein* (Osinachi Ohale* 59), Nikki Washington (Kika Toulouse 59); Becky Edwards, Teresa Noyola (Lindsay Elston 59), Brittany Bock; Stephanie Ochs (Tori McCombs* 68), Kealia Ohai, Tiffany McCarty (Anisa Guajardo* 68)


Boston Breakers 1, Boston College 0

Captain and assistant coach Cat Whitehill scored the lone goal in the Boston Breakers’ 1-0 victory over Boston College, where Kia McNeill is an assistant coach. McNeill was a member of the Breakers until this month, when she left the club to focus full attention on her coaching duties and studies at BC.

Both teams had their chances Saturday and the Breakers needed an 88th minute penalty kick, finished by Whitehill, to top BC and improve to 2-0 in preseason.

Breakers lineup: Alyssa Naeher (GK), Julie King (Ashley Grove 78′), Cat Whitehill (C), Rachel Wood (Courtney Jones 60′), Chelsea Stewart (Jazmyne Avant 52′), Kaylyn Kyle (Bianca D’Agostino 56′), Joanna Lohman (Katie Oakes 83′), Heather O’Reilly (Kim DeCesare 85′), Lianne Sanderson (Hanna Gilmore 83′), Maddy Evans (Melissa Ortiz 69′), Katie Schoepfer (Mollie Pathman 52′)

Washington Spirit 1, University of Virginia 1

Last year’s last-place team in the NWSL picked up a draw against 2013 national semifinalist Virginia. Alexis Shaffer scored 10 minutes into the match for the Cavaliers, but Toni Pressley equalized for Washington in the 37th minute.

Earlier in the day, the Spirit announced they waived defender Candace Chapman, who won WPS championships with FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash, but struggled with injuries throughout 2013. The 30-year-old Canadian international played just 548 minutes for the Spirit last season

Spirit: A.Harris, T.Pressley, Y.Averbuch, C.Nairn, R.Cuellar, A.Krieger, C.Sadvej, J.Taylor, T. Weimer, B.Sierra & D.Adams

Virginia: Stearns, Douglas, Brian, Shaffer, Sonnett, Torres, Millar, Sroba, Colaprico, Doniak, Ratcliffe


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