Defender Mandy Freeman and Sky Blue go for two in a row. (Sky Blue FC photo by Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos)
BOYDS, Md. — After earning its first three points of the National Women’s Soccer League season, Sky Blue FC will try to make it two wins in a row against the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday at 7 p.m.
Sky Blue FC (1-1-1, 4 points) defeated FC Kansas City, 1-0, at home last Saturday.
The Spirit (0-2-1, 1), on the other hand, will seek its first victory of the season.
“We are very eager to get the game started on Saturday on the back end of a good result last weekend,” Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly said. “This is an opportunity for us to try and gather a little bit of momentum against a very strong Washington Spirit team. We had a good week of preparation, and we know that we need to be at our very best in order to get anything from this game.”
Sky Blue FC will be down three players. Veteran center back Christie Pearce will be on the sidelines for the second consecutive game due to the league’s concussion protocol.
Striker Raquel Rodriguez, who recorded the game-winning goal last Sunday’s win, will be unavailable to the team due to her graduation from Penn State University Saturday.
Midfielder Daphne Corboz is currently in England taking an entrance examination for medical school. Rodriguez and Corboz will return to New Jersey next week, the club said.
After two consecutive road matches to start the season, Sky Blue FC won its home opener last Sunday, on Raquel Rodriguez’s 82nd-minute goal by midfielder Raquel Rodriguez. Forward McKenzie Meehan got off a tricky shot that forced goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to save her attempt. Kelley O’Hara took the ensuing corner kick, finding rookie defender Mandy Freeman on the far side of the six-yard box. Freeman touched the ball to Rodriguez in front of the frame, and the Costa Rica international stretched out her left leg to poke the ball past Barnhart.
Washington fell to the Houston Dash last Saturday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex by means of a 28th minute goal from Kealia Ohai. The goal from Ohai was her 13th tally in 13 matches, and it was the lone score in a 1-0 contest.
Sky Blue FC leads the all-time series over the Spirit, 7-4-2. The New Jersey side also holds the advantage at the Maryland SoccerPlex, 3-2-2. Last season, the two clubs split a four-game set with two wins apiece.