Carli Lloyd scored a goal in each half for Sky Blue FC. (Jeff Auger Photo)
MANALAPAN, N.J. – Sky Blue FC did something Saturday that took the entire 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season to accomplish.
The team won a game. The Jersey side scored five goals in the opening half en route to a 6-0 preseason win over St. John’s University at Sportika Sports.
True, it was a college team, but a win is a win is a win.
“We’ve been playing a lot of 11v11 in training, so I think that is maybe why we felt a little more comfortable when we got here today,” Sky Blue head coach Denise Reddy said. “It was great, I thinkeveryone enjoyed it. We set out wanting to accomplish some attacking goals and I think we over accomplished them. Of course, there is always improvements to be made and we are looking forward to getting better each week.”
In her first starting XI of 2019, Reddy rolled out a 4-4-2 with Canada international goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan anchoring the team. Newly acquired defenders Caprice Dydasco and Estelle Johnson saw their first start as members of Sky Blue and rookies Paige Monaghan and Julie James got the call for their first start.
The match saw four goal-scorers with U.S. women’s national team forward Carli Lloyd and Monaghan leading the way with a brace. Monaghan opened the scoring with a rocket of a goal in the 12th minute. Imani Dorsey, the 2018 NWSL rookie of the year, doubled the lead with a goal in the 23rd minute. Only 10 minutes later veteran forward Jen Hoy slipped a cheeky shot in past the goalkeeper for a 3-0 lead.
Lloyd played a hand in two more Sky Blue goals, blasting one into the back of the net in the 41st minute and assisting on Monaghan’s second goal in the 45th minute. Sky Blue rounded out scoring in the 65th minute when Lloyd brought the ball down the left side of the field before sending it sailing into goal.
Sky Blue will continue preseason play when it takes on West Virginia University here Saturday at 3 p.m. To attend, RSVP online at skybluefc.com/schedule.
The club’s first regular-season match will be against the Washington Spirit at Maryland SoccerPlex April 13 and the home opener will take place vs. the Houston Dash Saturday, April 20, at 6 p.m.