Sky Blue tie Thorns for first place with 1-0 victory in Portland

Sky Blue FC


Portland, Oregon (May 16, 2013) – Super-sub Taylor Lytle scored the only goal of the game to give visiting Sky Blue FC a 1-0 victory over the previously undefeated Portland Thorns FC. The three points from the victory tie the team with Portland atop the NWSL standings with 13 points each. Portland still owns first place due to goal differential.

Lytle, the former Texas Tech all-time assist leader (27 assists) and Las Cruces, New Mexico native, came on in the 79th minute for Kendall Johnson. A minute later, she cracked a shot from 30 yards that sailed over the extended right arm of Portland keeper Karina LeBlanc and into the net.

Despite a counter attack by a desperate Portland, Sky Blue FC held off the home team in the waning minutes of the game.

A festive atmosphere and chanting crowd of 11,055 greeted the visiting Sky Blue FC. The rain stopped in time for the game, and 60-degree temperatures welcomed the New Jersey side, including the team’s returning U. of Portland alumni and starters Kendall Johnson and Sophie Schmidt, and Corvallis, Oregon native Madeleine Thompson, who came on as a sub for Danesha Adams in the final minutes of the game.

Sky Blue FC changed its line-up to meet the first place Thorns, putting Kelley O’Hara, who had been playing at forward, back in defense, where she plays for the U.S. National Team. The first half opened with dominant possession and an early attack by Portland, spearheaded by Christine Sinclair, who had a shot in the first minute. Three corner kicks by the Thorns were indications of a tested Sky Blue FC side. But the balance shifted midway into the first half, when in the 24th minute Danesha Adams and then Katy Freels both had threatening shots on goal. By the end of the half, Sky Blue FC was knocking on the door, testing keeper LeBlanc with a great chance again by Freels, and earning its first corner in the 43rd minute. Nonetheless, the first half ended scoreless.

The second half featured more of the same. Yet while Sinclair managed to threaten, as did substitute Danielle Foxhoven, Sky Blue FC captain Christie Rampone neutralized a frustrated Alex Morgan. Danesha Adams and Lisa De Vanna were also effective for Sky Blue FC up top, giving the visitors chances in the final third.

Sky Blue FC’s next game takes place this Sunday, May 19th, when the team heads to nearby Seattle for a rematch with the Seattle Reign FC. The team defeated the Reign 2-0 in their first match-up on May 11th in New Jersey.

Portland Thorns FC (4-1-1, 13pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (4-1-1, 13pts)
May 16, 2013 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
SKY 0 1 1
POR 0 0 0

Scoring Summary
SKY – Lytle (Goodson) 80

Misconduct Summary
POR – Sinclair (caution) 79

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Karina LeBlanc; D Marian Dougherty, D Rachel Buehler, D Kathryn Williamson, D Nikki Marshall, M Becky Edwards, M Allie Long, M Meleana Shim (Danielle Foxhoven, 63), M Nikki Washington (Angie Kerr, 84), F Christine Sinclair (capt.), F Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used: GK Adelaide Gay, D Jazmyne Avant, M Elizabeth Guess, M Courtney Wetzel, F Jessica Shufelt

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Morgan, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Morgan/Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 5 (Morgan, 2); OFFSIDES: 8; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 5

SKY: GK Brittany Cameron, D Christie Rampone (capt.), D Kelley O’Hara, D Caitlin Foord, D Courtney Goodson, M Manya Makoski, M Sophie Schmidt, M Katy Freels, F Danesha Adams (Maddie Thompson, 90)