Despite the team’s winless record, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan has enjoyed a very good season for Sky Blue FC. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Sky Blue FC has one more opportunity avoid a rather dubious distinction in professional sports history.
The New Jersey team will try to win its first and only game of the National Women’s Soccer League season against the Orlando Pride (8-9-6, 30 points) at Yurcak Field Saturday at noon.
If it doesn’t, Sky Blue FC (0-17-6, 6) will become the first professional women’s team in the United States to finish a season winless.
Saturday wil mark the third meeting of the season between these two clubs, with the Pride holding a 1-0-1 advantage. Their first encounter took place at Orlando City Stadium June 16 as the Pride won, 3-2 final. In a back-and-forth match-up, the Pride jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a Sydney Leroux goal in the second minute, but Savannah McCaskill responded for Sky Blue FC in the 16th minute. Leroux scored a second goal in the 31st minute, but Madison Tiernan equalized six minutes later. Alex Morgan set up Rachel Hill’s game-winner in the 83rd minute.
In the second encounter at Orlando City Stadium Aug. 5, Marta put the Pride on top with a 51st minute finish, but a Shea Groom to Imani Dorsey goal two minutes later leveled the game at 1-1. In the 59th minute, a Groom to McCaskill connection gave Sky Blue FC a 2-1 advantage, but Dani Weatherholt eventually equalized in the 73rd minute. Sky BLue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan saved Marta penalty kick in stoppage time for a point.
Sky Blue FC returns home after spending its last four matches on the road. Over the past week, Sky Blue FC played a Sunday morning game at the Washington Spirit before traveling to the Chicago Red Stars Tuesday.
Orlando enters on a five-match winless streak, including losses in its last three games. Most recently, the Pride fell to the Chicago Red Stars on August 25 at Orlando City Stadium, 3-1.
The overall series stands at 3-2-2 in favor of the Pride, with owns a 1-1-1 record at Yurcak Field.