Photo by Jeffrey Auger.
Shea Groom and McKenzie Meehan Connection Leads the Sky Blue FC Attack
Manalapan, N.J. (March 3, 2018) – Sky Blue FC continued its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason schedule on Saturday, playing the University of North Carolina at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. Forwards Shea Groom and McKenzie Meehan paced the offense with a goal and an assist each, as Sky Blue FC emerged victorious on a 2-1 result.
“We continue to build upon our foundation each week, and I can really see the things we are working on in training come out in the games,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “I think we put together a lot more minutes this week, and we also did a much better job defensively. When we were in possession, we were in possession with a purpose, and that is how we are looking to play. I am extremely happy with the opportunities we were able to create and the way we were able to hold most of the possession during the game.”
Sky Blue FC opened the scoring in the 8th minute of this contest. On that series, Meehan collected in the midfield and delivered a superb pass that split the North Carolina back line and found a wide-open Groom racing down the right flank. After a quick touch with her left foot, Groom redirected a shot to the far post with her right foot that was beyond the extension of North Carolina goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak, making the tally 1-0 in favor of the host side.
As this match approached halftime, North Carolina was able to pull back the equalizer, and the two teams headed into the intermission at one goal apiece.
In the second half, Sky Blue FC continued to create chances on the offensive end, and they eventually found the game-winner in the 75th minute. On that scoring play, Groom was played into the right side of the box and saw the defense collapse in her direction. Although she had a look on goal, she saw that Meehan had a better opening and unselfishly cut back a pass in her direction. Meehan then one-timed the feed to hang a final 2-1 tally.
Next on the preseason slate for Sky Blue FC is 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. University of North Carolina
Date: March 3, 2018
Venue: Sportika Sports; Manalapan, New Jersey
NJ: 1 | 1 – 2
UNC: 1 | 0 – 1
8 NJ Shea Groom (McKenzie Meehan)
43 UNC Goal
75 NJ McKenzie Meehan (Shea Groom)
Starting XI: Gunion, Mills, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Meehan, Killion, Rodriguez, Hoy, Abam, Groom
Substitutes: Ogunsami, Corsaro, Richardson, Simon, Benintente, Conheeney, Baxter, Sarkisian, Neary, Vigna, Magaletta
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
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