Sam Kerr pulled off some 11th-hour heroics for the second week in a row. (Jeff Auger Photo)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — You don’t have to go to a movie theater to see Wonder Woman. Just go to a Sky Blue FC game at Yurcak Field.
That woman happens to be one Sam Kerr, who for the second consecutive Saturday provided some late, dramatic heroics to turn an apparent loss into a result for the National Women’s Soccer League team.
The Australian international struck in the final minute of regulation to pull Sky Blue into a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Red Stars as the hosts overcame a two-goal, first-half deficit. Kerr headed in a long feed from midfield into the left corner to help the New Jersey side to a point.
“We are delighted with the perseverance of our team,” Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly said. “We fought it out to the very last minute in order to get the equalizer. Once again, the effort we saw from these players truly says everything about their incredible character.”
Stop us if you've heard this story before. Sky Blue FC finishes off another second-half rally with a goal in the 90th minute, as Sarah Killion hooks up Samantha Kerr with the late equalizer! 🤸🏽
تم نشره بواسطة Sky Blue FC في 15 يوليو، 2017
Video courtesy of Sky Blue Face Book page
Last Saturday Kerr connected for a hat-trick in the final 12 minutes to transform a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 win over FC Kansas City.
For her efforts, the sparkplug was named NWSL player of the week and FrontRowSoccer.com’s player of the week.
The Red Stars scored in the fourth minute. Forward Christen Press carried into the left side of the penalty area before laying off ton open Sofia Huerta as she ran into the right side of the box. Huerta slotted it away to give her team an early 1-0 advantage.
Chicago stretched the gap to 2-0 in the 26th minute as Vanessa DiBernardo swung a cross into the area. Press, who chested it down before scoring.
Sky Blue FC tightened the deficit to one in the 33rd minute after Kerr delivered a well-placed cross to Taylor Lytle on the far post. Lytle headed it down for Hayes in front of the frame, where the New Jersey native collected her own rebound of a shot and drilled it into the back of the net.
In the 43rd minute, Sky Blue FC almost scored the equalizer. Kerr no-looked a back-heel in the direction of a racing Hayes, who sent it to Daphne Corboz as she entered the penalty area. Corboz took a touch before losing her footing, but Kerr sped onto the loose ball and flicked towards the frame. Making a diving save of the attempt was goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan kept Sky Blue FC in the game throughout the second half, making several difficult point-blank saves. With the Canada international on her game, Sky Blue FC began to turn up the tempo on the other side of the pitch.
In the 90th minute, the New Jersey outfit broke through for the equalizer. Sarah Killion received the ball before turning upfield with plenty of room in front of her. She drove a high ball into the box. Kerr leapt high to head it into the left post with two seconds remaining in regulation before injury time ensued.
Sky Blue FC heads west next weekend to play a road fixture with Seattle Reign FC.
“Going into next week, however, we know that we must fine-tune our performance so we do not make our lives so hard,” Holly said.
The team will return home to Yurcak Field on Friday, August 4, hosting the Washington Spirit for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
4 CHI Sofia Huerta (Christen Press)
26 CHI Christen Press (Vanessa DiBernardo)
33 NJ Maya Hayes
90 NJ Sam Kerr (Sarah Killion)
NJ: Sheridan, Mills (Galton-69), Skroski, Pearce, O’Hara, Stanton (Rodriguez-46), Killion, Corboz, Lytle, Kerr, Hayes (Meehan-78)
Subs not used: Casey, Kai, Tiernan, Galton, Richardson
Head Coach: Christy Holly
CHI: Naeher, Short, Naughton, Gilliland, Johnson (Comeau-46), Huerta, Mautz (Kaskie-90), DiBernardo, Ertz, Colaprico, Press
Subs Not Used: McCaffrey, Hoy, Kaskie, Gorden, Dalton, Green
Head Coach: Rory Dames
Stats Summary: NJ / CHI
Shots: 15 / 17
Saves: 7 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 12
Offside: 4 / 1
2 NJ Nikki Stanton (Yellow Card)
38 NJ Sam Kerr (Yellow Card)
75 NJ Erica Skroski (Yellow Card)
79 NJ Kelley O’Hara (Yellow Card)
Referee: Robi Hullner
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Osterhouse
Assistant Referee 2: Ian McKay
Fourth Official: Joe Zawistowski
Woman of the Match: Kailen Sheridan