BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — It’s official.
Sky Blue FC is about to finish the worst season in National Women’s Soccer League history.
The New Jersey side went down to yet another defeat, its 17th of the season via a 5-0 trouncing by the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park Tuesday night.
With one game remaining in the season, Sky Blue FC (0-17-6) is guaranteed to finish with the fewest points in league history. The record was held by 2016 Boston Breakers (3-15-2), which recorded 11 points that season. Entering the game, Sky Blue FC already held the mark for the most defeats in a season (16).
Now the team must find a way to secure three points in its regular-season finale against the Orlando Pride at Yurcak Stadium Saturday at noon or it will become the first women’s pro team in U.S. soccer history to go through an entire season without a win.
On the flip side, Chicago (9-4-10, 37 points) clinched a playoff spot.
“It feels goooood,” said Red Stars and former Sky Blue FC striker Sam Kerr, who was a headache and a half for most of the match, scoring one goal and helping set up two others.
After grabbing a 1-0 halftime advantage, the Red Stars struck three times in the second half to break open a close game.
The Red Stars opened the scoring in the 18th minute. The ball was moved up the left flank before Kerr placed a feed for Arin Gilliland just outside the 18. Gilliland delivered service to the far post as Alyssa Mautz headed the ball into the net.
Chicago doubled the lead in the 46th minute. Following a give-and-go with Yuki Nagasato in the midfield, Gilliland carried down the left side of the field before serving a cross for Mautz, who one-timed the feed to make it 2-0.
In the 64th minute, the gap was stretched to 3-0 after Brooke Elby delivered a well-placed ball into the area that found Kerr, who headed a powerful shot on target. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan got a hand on the ball, but it is a bit too heavy to manage.
The hosts increased the advantage to 4-0 in the 80th minute, with Gilliland again starting the scoring sequence with service from the flank. After whipping in a ball towards the box, Kerr chested it down for Rosie White as she ran into the area. White one-timed a left-footed finish.
The final score in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, as Michele Vasconcelos sprung herself on a run by playing a give-and-go with White. After taking a quick touch of the pass from White, Vasconcelos slotted a ball into the back of the net.