Sky Blue FC is winless in 16 matches and counting. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Three guesses on what Sky Blue FC did Saturday night.
And your first two answers don’t count.
If you said the winless and hapless New Jersey club lost yet again, then you are correct.
And if you said the team had been eliminated from contention, then give yourself extra credit.
Sky Blue continued to dig a deep hole for itself at the bottom of the National Women’s Soccer League, losing to Portland Thorns FC at Yurcak Field
The team now sports a 0-13-3 record and only three points, while Portland (29) improved to 8-5-5.
“Honestly, this was not even a one-point performance for me. I felt we played well enough to earn three points,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said. “We created some of our best chances of the year tonight, especially in the second half. Collectively, our players did exactly what we asked them to do. Even when we were down two-nil, nobody hung their heads, and we got ourselves back into the game. Everyone was playing with a great amount of energy, and I am very proud of the performance that our team put forth.”
Portland opened the scoring in the fourth minute of play as Christine Sinclair split a pair of defenders with a ball that found Hayley Raso speeding down the left flank. Raso carried into the penalty area before stepping around a defender and placing a ball in the right upper 90 for a 1-0 edge.
In the seventh minute, the visitors extended their lead to 2-0 when Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic picked off a clearance attempt just outside the 18. Crnogorcevic tucked a ball inside the far post.
Sky Blue FC pulled one back in the 27th minute on a connection through the center of the field. After acquiring possession in the midfield, Thaisa Moreno volleyed a ball for Seha Groom, who then headed it to the feet of Savannah McCaskill. With Imani Dorsey making a run into the box, McCaskill split two defenders to find enough space for Dorsey to strike a ball past goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.
Throughout the second half, Sky Blue FC was firing shots from all angles but saw those attempts hit the post, crossbar and fall victim to saves.
In the 61st minute, McCaskill made a hustle play to snipe a loose ball in her final third. She fed an overlapping Groom into the penalty area. Groom sped onto the delivery before hammering a hard shot that rattled off the near post.
Sky Blue FC later earned a free kick opportunity in the 81st minute from about 25 yards. After Groom touched the ball into play, Raquel Rodriguez rocketed a shot that struck the crossbar.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, McCaskill played Dorsey into the center of the box, where she saw a well-struck ball kick-saved by Eckerstrom. Janine Beckie put the rebound on frame, but her shot was knocked away by Ellie Carpenter.