Kailen Sheridan made nine saves for Sky Blue FC. (Photo by Jeffrey Auger)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Like it or not, Sky Blue FC remained on track for a winless National Women’s Soccer League season Saturday night, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Houston Dash at Yurcak Field.
Despite nine saves by goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC (4 points) remained winless at 0-14-4.
Former St. John’s University standout Rachel Daly paced the Dash (7-8-5, 26) with two goals.
“Defensively, we struggled to find spaces between the lines in the first half, and we had some lapses in our timing when it came to defending as a unit,” Sky Blue FC Denise Reddy said. “Offensively, our attacks were very short and direct, which is not how we want to play as a team. In the second half, we played with more aggression and determination on the offensive end, and we were much more disciplined defensively. We showed a great deal of resolve with our second half performance.”
Houston opened the scoring in the seventh minut, as Kealia Ohai gained possession and headed down the left flank. She cut inside before centering a ball into the box, where Daly was there for a 1-0 lead.
In the 29th minute, Sky Blue FC nearly found its equalizer. Raquel Rodriguez intercepted a pass on her offensive side of the pitch before stepping around a defender and playing Savannah McCaskill on her left. McCaskill one-timed a ball with the outside of her right foot that split two defenders and found Imani Dorsey racing into the penalty area. Dorsey slightly dummied the ball before rifling a shot with her right foot that forced a diving save from Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell. McCaskill collected the rebound, but her ensuing shot was high of the target.
Sheridan recorded five saves in the opening half.
In the second half, Sheridan picked up right where she left off. Ihe 53rd minute she made another key stop. A through-ball was sent to a racing Veronica Latsko, who sped into the 18 as she met Sheridan in a 1 v 1 situation. Latsko fired a right-footed shot, but Sheridan made a save.
Sky Blue FC leveled the count in the 65th minute. From the back, Mandy Freeman played Rebekah Stott on her right side. Stott placed a delivery upfield for Katie Johnson. After stepping around a defender, Johnson turned inside and fed Rodriguez near the end line. Rodriguez played McCaskill, who struck a one-timer on frame that Campbell kick saved. However, Madison Tiernan claimed the rebound and quickly put away an equalizer for a 1-1 tie.
Houston eventually garnered an opportunity for a game-winner when a handball infraction inside the box awarded them with a penalty kick in the 73rd minute. Stepping over the try was Daly, who converted for a 2-1 lead.
Sky Blue FC will return home to Yurcak Field, hosting Utah Royals FC Saturday at 6:30 p.m.