Five players scored for Sky Blue FC. (Photo by Jeffrey Auger)
MANALAPAN, N.J. – Sky Blue FC concluded its National Women’s Soccer League preseason on a high note, recording a 6-0 victory over St. John’s University at Sportika Sports Sunday.
Five players scored for Sky Blue FC as Janine Beckie scored twice.
“It was great to finally have everyone back with the team,” head coach Denise Reddy said. “Even though we had some players in new positions, we were able to stay true to how we want to play, both with and without the ball. We were continually substituting throughout the second half, and I was excited to see that we never lost our identity. Whether we were defending or in the attack, we did not lost sight of what we were trying to do. Overall, I am really happy with how we performed today.”
Sky Blue FC jumped out to a lead in the 11th minute. Beckie blasted a hard shot from distance that squeezed over goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro, who made several tough saves.
The hosts increased their advantage to 2-0 in the 34th minute. Beckie baited the goalkeeper to come off her post before playing midfielder Carli Lloyd on a run to the left flank, where the two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year delivered a hard roller to the middle of the box to forward Katie Johnson. Johnson then fired a shot that hit the post. Shea Groom collected the rebound before firing a shot that was kick-saved by Tammaro. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez gathered, having a right-footed shot blocked by a defender before sending a ball into the back of the net with her left foot.
Sky Blue FC needed just a bit more than 30 seconds into the second half before Beckie scored the second goal of a brace, finishing off a feed from Groom.
The New Jersey side remained on the attack, extending the lead to 4-0 in the 56th minute. Forward Savannah McCaskill traveled down the end line, centering for forward Adriana Leon, who put away a one-timer.
In the 63rd minute, McCaskill added a goal to make it 5-0, hammering a thunderous strike from inside the 18. The final 6-0 count was placed on the board in the 65th minute, as Tammaro deflected a hard shot from Leon into the air as Groom headed the ball home.
Sky Blue FC will meet the North Carolina Courage for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday, March 31. It returns to New Jersey Sunday, April 15, hosting Seattle Reign FC for a 5 p.m. kickoff in its home opener at Yurcak Field.
11 NJ Janine Beckie
34 NJ Raquel Rodriguez
46 NJ Janine Beckie (Shea Groom)
56 NJ Adriana Leon (Savannah McCaskill)
63 NJ Savannah McCaskill
65 NJ Shea Groom
Starting XI: Sheridan, Hoy, Freeman, Skroski, Gibbons, Moreno, Rodriguez, Lloyd, Beckie, Johnson, Groom
Substitutes: Casey, McCaskill, Leon, Meehan, Mills, Richardson, Conheeney, Flores, Abam, Palacios, Stott
Head Coach: Denise Reddy