Sky High; Sky Blue maintain NWSL lead with 1-0 win over Kansas City

Sky Blue FC

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Sky Blue simply cannot be stopped. The ladies from Piscataway delivered FC Kansas City’s first home loss to the tune of 1-0 in front of 4,186 fans.

The win keeps Sky Blue first place in the NWSL, tied with the Portland Thorns (19 points).

“The team was fatigued from the cumulative effects of three road games over two weeks,” head coach Jim Gabbara noted. “The players showed a lot of character. It was a gritty performance and a great team effort.”

Australian international Lisa De Vanna and Canadian standout Sophie Schmidt continued to show why they are the steal of this year’a NWSL season. Kansas City took control to open the match, pinning SBFC in their own half. The home side nearly went up on a Lauren Cheney goal, but the notch was called back for offside in the 10th minute.

The near goal woke up Sky Blue and soon, De Vanna would once again become a difference maker. Penetrating into the box, De Vanna was pulled down by Lauren Sesselmann who was given a red card for her efforts. On the penalty call, Sophie Schmidt lined up the ensuing shot, beating keeper Nicole Barnhardt with a goal to the lower right corner.

The goal was Schmidt’s fifth of the season putting her atop all scorers league-wide.

The red card turned the tides of the match with Sky Blue owning the better of the possession heading into and through the second half. De Vanna would come close to scoring in the second but her attempt was denied. Meanwhile, Kansas City tried to mount a late game comeback but standout Blue’s keeper Brittany Cameron could not be broken down. The win was also her fourth consecutive shutout. Cameron also holds the best record amongst keepers league wide.

Not all was positive for Sky Blue as Kelley O’Hara came out of the game in the 26th minute with a right ankle injury. She was replaced by Taylor Lytle. The severity of the injury is not yet known.

Sky Blue FC returns home Saturday, June 1st against the Boston Breakers at 7 PM ET. It will mark the first meeting for these two teams this season.


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