Carli Lloyd’s penalty kick lifted Sky Blue FC into a tie. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
PORTLAND, Ore. — There are two ways to look at Sky Blue FC’s 1-1 at draw at Portland Thorns FC Wednesday night.
If you’re an optimist, you can point to the fact the visiting side managed to come back from a one-goal deficit on a Carli Lloyd penalty kick to earn a road tie at Providence Park.
If you’re a pessismist, you can note that Sky Blue has yet to win a National Women’s Scocer League game after 12 tries.
Sky Blue FC remained winless, moving to 0-9-3 with three points while Portland’s record is now 5-4-5 with 20 points.
“We started on our back foot tonight and were defending a bit too much,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said. “In the second half, there was a shift in our mentality and focus. We were pressing them on every situation, and we were really getting out on the front foot. It was a great performance in the second half, and we may have deserved more than just a point. To come into an environment like Portland tonight and get a result really says a lot about the character of our team.”
Sky Blue FC saw its best scoring chance of the opening half come in the 37th minute. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan (four saves) took a goal kick that traveled into the final third. Savannah McCaskill, who gathered the feed, turned and flicked possession to Shea Groom. Groom volleyed the ball to her left for Imani Dorsey, who one-timed a left-footed strike that forced a diving save from keeper Adriana Franch.
In the 45th minute, Thorns FC earned a free kick off a foul in the midfield. Meghan Klingenberg sent the ball into the penalty area, where Christine Sinclair headed it, which was finished off on a diving header from Lindsey Horan for a 1-0 Portland lead.
The New Jersey side earned a penalty kick when Carli Lloyd was tripped up in the box by Celeste Boureille in the 76th minute. Lloyd blasted her attempt into the left-side netting.
Sky Blue FC nearly found a go-ahead tally in the 81st minute. Using crafty footwork to create some space, Raquel Rodriguez played a through-ball for Groom into the box. Groom looked to poke the ball past Franch, but her attempt was just off the mark.
The visitors’ final chance came in the 87th minute. The series was started off as Madison Tiernan lofted the ball from her defensive half, finding Lloyd on the right flank. The New Jersey native ran inside before feeding a Groom into the area. As she approached the six-yard box, Groom fired a point-blank shot on frame, but Franch turned away her try. After knocking around the rebound, that Sky Blue FC possession ended on a Rodriguez strike that was slightly off-target.
Sky Blue FC will travel to Utah Royals FC for a Saturday night match-up at Rio Tinto Stadium. The team will return home to Yurcak Field to host the Chicago Red Stars July 7 at 7 p.m