The Spirit have been in the top four in the league for the majority of the season and Sky Blue is making a bid for the playoffs going on a three-game win streak. In this last match before the Olympic break, both teams are going to be looking for that next win to stay in the top four.
Spirit looking to stay in playoff position
This week the Spirit get to be the home team and are looking for that win to overtake that top spot before the break. Last week the Spirit only allowed one goal, but that goal was enough to lose the points. They’ve only lost three times this season and two of those losses came from Sky Blue, so with their fourth meeting of the season they’ll need to step it up to get the win.
The Spirit have the edge on Sky Blue with the shots, but the problem is they haven’t been able to finish against them. They definitely have the skill to score and have proven in past games that they know how to score. With Estefania Banini up top along with Francisca Ordega and Cheyna Williams, the forwards are dangerous. Joanna Lohman and Katie Stengel have also proven to be dangerous as scorers over the course of the game.
The Spirit don’t have a problem with their abundance of scorers, but they have a problem with finishing. Most of their games have been high shooting games with shots being in the double-digits, but finishing those shots is essential when playing this Sky Blue team.
The best defense in the league belongs to the Spirit. Led by Megan Oyster, they boast a 0.85 goals against average. Coach Jim Gabarra will be looking for this defense to keep out the goals this week and his forwards to score early and take control of the game early.
Sky Blue looking to repeat
Sky Blue comes into this game with the upper hand having won the faceoff last week. They are riding a three-game win streak and sit fourth on the table. This team is looking to keep making their comeback and go into the break with a win.
This team has the edge on the Spirit with two games to one this season and each match played had only a one-goal difference. This match will be a hard fought one, as the Spirit will look to split the series.
So far the winner of each match between these teams scored the first goal, so Sky Blue will want to pounce and finish their chances early. They have the goal scorers in Natasha Kai and Leah Galton and are starting to find their groove as a team.
Most of their games have been by a one-goal difference, so keeping out the Spirit’s scorers will be vital. Christie Rampone and the defense will look to keep out Banini and Ordega.
While this Sky Blue team doesn’t tend to lead in shots, they score goals when it counts against the Spirit.