Sky Blue Winless Streak Continues With Draw In Boston

Sky Blue's Katy Freels, Courtesy Sky Blue, Photo by Robyn McNeil.

by Chris Henderson
NWSL Beatwriter

Despite taking an early lead, Sky Blue FC’s winless streak extended to six games when the Boston Breakers equalized during a dominant second half.

An early goal from Katy Freels gave Sky Blue hopes of registering their first win since the first game of the season, but the Breakers’ Stephanie McCaffrey scored off a failed clearance in the 60th minute to even the score at 1-1.

Coach Jim Gabarra used an identical lineup to the team’s 1-0 loss last week in Washington with Kim DeCesare joining Nadia Nadim up top and Maya Hayes earning her second straight start at right back. Sarah Killion remained sidelined with a knee injury.

As it had against the Spirit, Sky Blue’s formation presented match-up problems for the opposition. Pressing high up the field, Nadim won an interception in the 8th minute. The Danish international turned and found a streaking Freels. The midfielder sped down the center of the field and directed the ball into the top left corner with a shot from about 25 yards out.

“I saw the back line was dropping, so I just took a shot,” said Freels after the game. “We’ve been working this week on hitting the frame because in the Washington game we missed the target a lot. I wanted to force the keeper to make a save. Luckily, it went in.”

Sky Blue appeared to double their lead 10 minutes later when Nadim beat her defender on the left flank and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jami Kranich. However, a late call from the assistant referee disallowed the goal, as he determined that the striker had committed a foul in the build-up.

After halftime, the tide of the game turned, with the Breakers getting several good looks at goal. Winger Kristie Mewis and striker Morgan Marlborough both saw close range efforts blocked by goalkeeper Brittany Cameron. But just after the hour mark, Cameron left her line to punch a cross from Lauren Lazo. Her effort landed at the feet of McCaffery, who struck the ball into the empty net.

Boston’s frontline continued to cause problems after the goal, but could not convert. The best chance at a winner came from Sky Blue in the form of substitute Meg Morris. Her first touch of the game, after entering in the 77th minute, was a strike that first rattled the crossbar, then appeared to cross the goal line. The linesman saw it differently and the game remained square until the final whistle.

Sky Blue will next look to halt its winless streak at home against the Houston Dash on May 31st. After the game Gabarra said he expects Killion back for that game.

Scoring Summary:

8′ K.Freels SBFC
60′ S.McCaffrey BB

Misconduct Summary:
None

Lineups:
SBFC – Cameron, Cutshall, Levin, Grubka, Hayes, DeCesare (Diedrich-91), Freels, Haagsma, Lytle (LaBonta-90), Gordon (Morris-77), Nadim
Unused Substitutes : Bledsoe, Stanton, Wagner, Waldus

BOS: Kranich, Lazo, King, Kallman, Pathman, Barczuk, Schoepfer (Bia-90), Mewis, Rafinha (Pires-76), McCaffrey, Marlborough (Evans-84)
Unused Substitutes: Brown, Ezurike, Wood, Verdoia