Last night, Sky Blue FC kicked off at Memorial Stadium playing guests to the Seattle Reign for Week 14 of the season. This past April, the two teams competed for the first time of the 2017 season, which came out to a 1-1 tie. The Reign were looking to overcome last weeks 1-1 draw as well against the Boston Breakers.
Early on in the match, both teams came out and attacked strong, but continued to collide into one another, which made for a difficult start. Early on in the 26th minute forward Megan Rapinoe took a free kick from outside of the box with her right foot to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead. As the fight for more first half goals was intense, one minute of stoppage time was added before the whistle concluding the half was blown.
Seattle Reign extends their lead, Sky Blue on the run for a comeback
The Reign entered the second half and Beverly Yanez was was tackled by Sky Blue FC defender Erica Skroski and resulted with a penalty kick for Seattle. Rapinoe came up to the box to take the shot and was touched by goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, but still made it’s way past the goal line to put the Reign ahead 2-0. Just a couple of minutes later in the 48th minute, Reign forward Nahomi Kawasumi made a direct pass to Yanez, who headed the ball to the back of the net to score her fourth goal of the season to advance Seattle to 3-0.
Sky Blue was taking shots as often they could on goal and Kelley O’Hara took a nice shot with her right foot as she faced Reign goalkeeper Hayley Kopmeyer who deflected the ball to extinct Sky Blue’s chance.
The Reign remained dominant on Sky Blue’s goal and in the 55th minute, Rapinoe crossed to the center and Yanez was ready for the finish, but Skroski kneed the ball to the back of her own net to put Seattle Reign with an even greater lead of 4-0.
Sky Blue was going to give Seattle a run for their money so to speak and they were given a penalty kick due to a foul on Merritt Mathias, O’Hara saw the back of the net as she scored her third goal of the season bringing the score 4-1. Four minutes later, New Jersey forward McKenzie Meehan crossed to the center and O’Hara missed, but Leah Galton was successful with the finish as Sky Blue was on a 4-2 comeback.
Sky Blue was on a scoring streak to catch up to the Reign for an outcome that Seattle wasn't expecting as they had a 4-0 lead early on in the match. After Galton’s goal, she crossed the ball near the goal and midfielder Daphne Corboz headed the ball in to score once again as Sky Blue was now at 4-3 with the Reign. It was none other than Sam Kerr who equalized 4-4 for Sky Blue, heading the ball past Kopmeyer in the 76th.
Both teams looking for a last minute goal
The second half was wrapping up and Seattle and New Jersey were battling out in the last moments as much as they could to score one goal to be on top. In the 86th minute, Rapinoe took a shot with her left foot to the top right order of the net and Sheridan wasn't able to make a save, which put the Reign back in the lead 5-4. This marked Rapinoe’s 11th goal of the season as she scored a hat trick.
About five minutes of stoppage time were added and neither team gave up. The Reign worked diligently to maintain their lead while Sky Blue scoped for every opportunity they would get. The half came to a close and Seattle earned the 5-4 victory despite Sky Blue putting the pressure and coming back from zero goals to four.