Photo by Jeffrey Auger.
Manalapan, N.J. (Feb. 24, 2018) – Sky Blue FC opened its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Saturday, playing Penn State University at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. Sky Blue FC was able to create a number of opportunities in the match, but Penn State eventually emerged victorious behind a 73rd minute goal by Ellie Jean.
“I am pleased with what our players did today,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We worked all week on a certain aspect of our playing style, and applying it today was our main focus. Technically and tactically, we had a few breakdowns, but our players stayed true to what was asked of them throughout this match. As we continue in the preseason, we want to extend our moments, and that will come as we adjust to playing 90 minutes of our style.”
Sky Blue FC was able to produce a lot of activity on the offensive end of the field, with newcomers Shea Groom and Jen Hoy working very well with McKenzie Meehan up top. The trio was responsible for a handful of chances throughout the opening half, but a strong showing by Penn State goalkeeper Rose Chandler kept the net clean.
The host side should likely have went into the halftime intermission with a lead after creating three late scoring opportunities, including a final chance that saw a Groom shot hit the post in the 43rd minute. However, the two teams were knotted-up in a stalemate when the halftime whistle was blown.
Reddy began making heavy substitutions as the second half got underway, with Chandler continuing to be a hard puzzle to solve for the new players on the field. The lone tally of the game then eventually came in the 73rd minute, when a busy scramble in the box ended with Penn State defender Ellie Jean sneaking a ball past Sky Blue FC netminder Kaycee Gunion.
Next on the preseason slate for Sky Blue FC is a 3:00 p.m. meeting with the University of North Carolina on Saturday, March 3, followed up by a 1:00 p.m. contest against West Virginia University on Saturday, March 10. Sky Blue FC will then conclude its preseason docket when it welcomes St. John’s University into Sportika Sports for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, March 18.
All Sky Blue FC preseason matches are open to the public, and admission to attend is free. Sportika Sports, which is the presenting sponsor of the 2018 Sky Blue FC Preseason, is located at 150 Woodward Road in Manalapan, N.J.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Penn State University
Date: February 24, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 0 | 0 – 0
PSU: 0 | 0 – 1
73 PSU Ellie Jean
Starting XI: Casey, Simon, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Richardson, Killion, Meehan, Groom, Hoy, Tiernan
Substitutes: Gunion, Corsaro, Rodriguez, Mills, Benintente, Conheeney, Abam, Sarkisian, Neary, Vigna, Magaletta
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
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