Kerr and Sky Blue Do It Again

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By TOM SLATER 

sky blue logoPISCATAWAY, N.J. — The magic continues for Sky Blue and Sam Kerr.

Kerr scored the tying goal in the 90th minute on Saturday night to rally Sky Blue from a two-goal deficit for the second week in a row. It was Kerr’s 10th goal of the season as Sky Blue (7-6-2, 23 points) erased another two-goal deficit to draw, 2-2, with the Chicago Red Stars ( 7-3-4, 25) in a National Women’s Soccer League match at Yurcak Field. Last week, Kerr scored a natural hat trick in the final 12 minutes as Sky Blue fought back for a 3-2 victory.

Kerr snuck in between two Chicago defenders and headed a well-placed service from midfielder Sarah Killion to beat Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the waning seconds. The result left Chicago in second place and Sky Blue two point behind in third.

“Sarah gave me a great ball and I was able to go it,” Kerr said. “We don’t want to keep falling behind by two goals all the time. But I think if we had five more minutes, we would have won.”

The script was flipped from their meeting three weeks ago when Sky Blue scored early and Chicago scored twice in the second half to win.

This time, Chicago got early goals from Sofia Huerta and Christen Press to take a 2-0 lead. A 32d minute goal from Maya Hayes cut the lead in half, and that’s how it stayed until the final minute of a wide-open game.

Sky Blue was most effective using the flanks to attack. Taylor Lytle and Kelley O’Hara had a field day serving balls to try to unlock a compact Chicago defense that is ranked first in the NWSL.

Killion was moved to the backline in a strategic substitution when Leah Galton came on for Kayla Mills in the 69th minute. Taking a ball from the midfield, Killion hit the best serice of the night to find Kerr for the equalizer.

“We have a few ways to attack but serving from the flanks is one way,” Killion, who hit a shot off the crossbar in first half stoppage time, said. “On the goal, I got a look from Sam and she made the run a little deep so I tried to over hit it. She was there and got her head on it.”

Next week, Sky Blue travels to Seattle before the league’s second international break.