HOUSTON – For the second consecutive week Sky Blue FC scored three goals in a match.
But this time the New Jersey side won.
Australian international Sam Kerr scored one goal and helped create another to lead Sky Blue FC to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League game of the week at BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday.
Last week Sky Blue FC (2-2-1, 7 points) scored three times in a 4-3 loss at the Washington Spirit.
Sky Blue FC tallied three goals in consecutive matches for the first time since July 2015. The result extended the team’s unbeaten streak over Houston to eight games (5-0-3).
“We are delighted to rebound this week by picking up three points against a very talented Houston team,” Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly said. “We know that we must continue improving our overall performance, but scoring three goals in back-to-back games away from home is a direct indication of what this team is capable of achieving. There are a lot of positives for us to take away from this game, and we will apply them into our preparation for next week.”
Former U.S. international captain and defender Christie Pearce, who was sidelined for past two matches due to the NWSL concussion protocol, played the entire minutes at center back. Daphne Corboz, who missed last week’s game to due medical exams in England, was in the Sky Blue FC 18 but never got off the bench.
Former St. John’s standout striker Rachel Daly played the full 90 minutes for Houston, but did not score.
Sky Blue FC nearly got on the board in the 16th minute. Kerr raced inside the final third with possession before feeding midfielder Taylor Lytle on the left flank. Lytle sent a cross to the far post, where Sarah Killion one-touched a volley that appeared to be heading into the goal. Her shot pinged off the crossbar.
In the 32nd minute, the visitors earned a penalty kick after Kerr received a high boot to her face from defender Bruna inside the box. Killion sent goalkeeper Lydia Williams one direction before hammering her shot the other way for a 1-0 lead. It was Killion’s fourth goal of the season.
Sky Blue FC stretched the lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Kerr raced through the center of the field, causing three defenders to collapse on her. She sent a feed to an overlapping Leah Galton, creating a 1v1 situation with Williams. The England international touched around Williams before burying a left-footed strike that gave her side a two-goal advantage.
The Dash nearly got one back in the 70th minute on a corner kick. Bruna headed the ball towards the frame, but defender Mandy Freeman cleared it off her line.
Houston cut the lead to 2-1 in the 76th minute. Forward Kealia Ohai served a ball from the right flank that found Poliana, who fired the ball into the right-side netting.
Sky Blue FC eventually put away the game in the 87th minute. At the top of the 18, forward McKeenzie Meehan fed a hard roller to Kerr on her right. Kerr found a tiny opening between two defenders, firing a hard strike that also beat her international teammate Williams to restore the two-goal lead.
It was Kerr’s 12th goal for Sky Blue FC as she pulled even with Kelley O’Hara behind franchise leader Nadia Nadim (13). O’Hara had an excused absence from the game.
Sky Blue FC return home to Yurcak Field to host the Dash next Saturday, May 20 in the NWSL on Lifetime Game of the Week at 4 p.m.
NJ — Sarah Killion (Penalty Kick) — 33′
NJ — Leah Galton (Sam Kerr) — 53′
HOU — Poliana (Kealia Ohai) — 76′
NJ S== am Kerr (McKenzie Meehan) — 87′
NJ: Sheridan, Simon (Mills-77), Pearce, Freeman, Skroski, Lytle (Tiernan-73), Stanton, Killion, Rodriguez, Galton (Meehan-62), Kerr
Subs not used: Casey, Richardson, Corboz, Hayes
Head Coach: Christy Holly
HOU: Williams; Roccaro, Bruna, Van Wyk (Hagen-75), Levin; Brooks; Beckie, Brian, (Poliana-61) Prince (Andressa-46), Daly, Ohai
Subs Not Used: Campbell, Falknor, Henderson, Heap
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: HOU / NJ
Shots: 14 / 8
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 11
Offside: 2 / 2
NJ — Raquel Rodriguez (Yellow Card) — 65′
HOU — Amber Brooks (Yellow Card) — 87′
Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Bermudez
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Mike Arrington
Woman of the Match: Sam Kerr