Photo Credit: Robyn McNeil/ISI Photos
PISCATAWAY, NJ (July 23, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (8-3-2, 26 points) fell to regional rivals Sky Blue FC (6-4-4, 22 points) 1-0 on the road. A driven shot by English international and Sky Blue rookie Leah Galton made the difference for the team.
The sole goal of the match came from Galton in the 24th minute. Sky Blue’s Erin Simon played a ball to Galton that she ran up the left flank. Galton beat the Spirit’s defenders with her breakneck speed to position herself close enough to the net to take a shot. She drilled the ball from an angle in the box that was nearly impossible for Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys to get a hand on, and the ball found the back of the net.
In the 55th minute, Galton again found space on the left side and sent in a cross that had Wys beat, but defender Caprice Dydasco was able to clear the ball out for a corner.
In the 59th minute, the Spirit saw its best chance when Cheyna Williams advanced one on one with Sky Blue goalkeeper Caroline Casey. She sent a powered shot toward net, but Sky Blue defender Erica Skroski was able to get a foot on it, sending the ball toward the crossbar. The ball deflected back into play and was collected by Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman who took a shot but the Sky Blue defense was able to control the ball until it was collected by Casey.
The Spirit had another chance in the 63rd minute when Estefania Banini sent the ball to Lohman inside the box. Lohman took a shot, but Sky Blue’s defense continued its high pressure, and she didn’t put enough on it to get beyond the goalkeeper.
In the 89th minute, Christine Nairn was taken down about 30 yards from goal earning a free kick. Nairn opted for a short pass into traffic looking for Katie Stengel. Sky Blue cleared the ball, stifling one of the last dangerous chances the Spirit had to equalize.
Next week the Spirit will face Sky Blue in a rematch. The back to back games will provide a chance for redemption for the Spirit. The game will also be the final regular season match between the two teams. For tickets, visit our website www.washingtonspirit.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: July 23, 2016
Venue: Yurcak Field, Piscataway, NJ
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 93 degrees, Sunny
Washington Spirit Lineup: 18 Kelsey Wys; 3- Caprice Dydasco, 24- Estelle Johnson, 4 – Megan Oyster, 5- Whitney Church (22-Alyssa Kleiner 59′); 23- Tori Huster, 7-Christine Nairn, 15- Joanna Lohman; 10- Estefania Banini, 14- Francisca Ordega (12- Katie Stengel 48+’), 20- Cheyna Williams (17- Cali Farquharson 80′)
Subs not used: 21- Alli Murphy, 36- DiDi Haracic
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Sky Blue Lineup: 27- Caroline Casey; 33- Erin Simon, 13- Kristin Grubka, 3- Christie Rampone, 8- Erica Skroski; 21- Leah Galton (24- Kelly Conheeney 83′), 2- Shawna Gordon (26- Domi Richardson 70′), 7- Nikki Stanton, 6- Taylor Lytle; 29- Catherine Zimmerman (5- Maya Hayes 67′), 32- Tasha Kai
Subs not used: 1- Jill Loyden, 15- Coco Goodson, 24- Theresa Diederich,
Head Coach: Christy Holly
|Sky Blue FC||1||0||1|
|1||24||Sky Blue FC||Leah Galton||Erin Simon|
Stats Summary: NJ/WAS
Shots: 9 / 17
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 8
Offside: 4/ 3
Referee: Matthew Kreitzer
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Abigail Van Note
4th Official: Artur Sibiga