Sky Blue Scores 3, but Washington Scores 4

Kelley O'Hara slices in between a pair of Spirit defenders

By TOM SLATER

imagesizecacheurlBoth the Washington Spirit and Sky Blue went into Saturday’s game at the Maryland SoccerPlex looking to cure their early-season scoring woes in the National Women’s Soccer League.

And while both teams filled the goal, the Spirit were one better in the 4-3 victory. Washington (1-2-1, 4 points) engineered a couple of two-goal leads and held on for the win over Sky Blue (1-2-1, 4)

Before Saturday’s game, the Spirit had scored once in three games. In 45 minutes they scored three times. Sky Blue had scored two goals in three games before getting three against Washington.

Spirit forward Francisca Ordega played a part in all the goals. She scored her team’s first and last goal, forced an own goal and set up Havana Solaun for her first goal of the season.

Ordega was especially effective in dealing with Sky Blue defenders, who collectively looked so good last week playing without captain Christie Pearce but were ineffective this week. Pearce sat out her second game under the league’s concussion protocol after playing every minute of every game in 2016. She is expected to be back in the lineup next week in Houston.

Sky Blue pressured until the end and was unlucky to not equalize. After Ordega’s second goal, in the 56th minute, Sky Blue cut the lead when Sarah Killion scored her second goal of the night.

In the 70th minute, McKenzie Meeha, started the play with a run in the box and was taken down. Killion put the PK inside the right post to get Sky Blue within a goal.

After the goal Sky Blue had at least a half-dozen chances — including four in stoppage time — but couldn’t equalize. Sam Kerr, Kelley O’Hara and Meehan all had quality chances that were either wide, over the top or saved by Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

Killion’s goal in the 50th minute was her first in the NWSL from open play — her other five were all from the penalty spot.

Sky Blue plays Houston in back-to-back games over the next two weeks, traveling to Texas next weekend, then hosting the Dash on May 20.