Sky Blue Announces Preseason Schedule: St. John’s, UNC on tap

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by TOM SLATER 

With pre-season just around the corner, Sky Blue FC is gearing up for its fourth season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with a pair of preseason matches in March.

Sky Blue FC will host St. John’s University at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 20th.  The New Jersey club will then play the University of North Carolina at Georgian Court University at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 26.

“We are delighted to lock in these preseason games,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “It will be a great opportunity to not only get the team out on the field in front of our fans, but also a chance for us to fine-tune some of the technical and tactical work that we have planned for our preseason camp. These games are an essential part of preparation as we work towards building and implementing a successful team for 2016.”

Both preseason matches will be free and open to the public.

Sky Blue FC will open its 2016 preseason camp on Monday, March 14, at The Atlantic Club in Manasquan.

After missing the playoffs for the second straight season, Sky Blue will have a new look this season. Gone is Nadia Nadim, the electric goalscorer from a year ago, MVP goalkeeper in Brittany Cameron and steady midfielder Katy Freels.

Sky Blue will look at a rich draft to replenish its roster. Raquel Rodriguez, the Costa Rican international and Hermann Award winner who led Penn State to its first women’s soccer national championship, will be looked upon to solidify the midfield — but to score as well.  Rutgers’ Erica Skroski, who recently has seen quality time on the United States U23 squad, is looking to step in the backline and is sure to be a hometown favorite. Caroline Casey of Utah is the lone goalkeeper on the roster and Leah Galston from Hofstra is expected to provide scoring punch along with the returning Natasha Kai.

They will join a nucleus that includes former United States National Women’s Team captain Christie Rampone, US international Kelley O’Hara and last year’s second overall draft pick Sarah Killion.

Sky Blue FC opens their NWSL season on April 17 in Seattle. They return to Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field on April 24 to host the Washington Spirit in a 6 p.m. opener.

Sky Blue FC Schedule