Carli Lloyd scored twice, but it wasn’t enough to get Sky Blue FC three points. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – For Sky Blue FC, life is never easy.
The National Women’s Soccer League team secured its first point of the season, but missed an opportunity to earn a win and three point.
On the way to a 2-2 draw with Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC could not hold onto a two-goal advantage at home after two goals from U.S. international Carli Lloyd.
Still, head coach Denise Reddy was satisfied with the game.
“We had some internal goals and we tweaked a little bit in the formation to try and get the best out of our players,” she said. “We were very disciplined, we worked all week, and we got results.”
Sky Blue FC (0-2-1, 1 point) came out in full force and wasted no time in finding the back of the net. In the sixth minute, Raquel Rodriguez split two defenders in the middle of the pitch before sending a ball over the top of the backline to Lloyd. Lloyd used her speed to get by defender Katherine Reynolds and a sliding Emily Sonnett before beating goalkeeper Adrianna Franch for the score.
The hosts continued to put the pressure on the Thorns backline. In the 16th minute, a build-up between Lloyd and Julie James opened up Paige Monaghan down the sideline but Monaghan’s shot was easily handled by Franch. In the 18th minute, Lloyd took it upon herself and jumped on a bad back pass that got away from Sonnett. As Lloyd collected the ball, she dodged the diving Franch and sent the ball into the back of the open net for a 2-0 lead
Portland responded in the 30th minute. Tobin Heath was fouled by Monaghan right outside the box. Heath put the free kick in towards the far post. Christine Sinclair got control to slip the ball to an open Sonnett, cutting Sky Blue’s lead to 2-1.
In the 34th minute, Portland tied the game up when forward Caitlin Foord ran down the right flank and sent a cross toward Heath. As the ball it hit the ground, Heath collected and backheeled it past keeper Kailen Sheridan.
Sheridan came up big at the end of the first half as she blocked a free kick sent in by Heath that bounced in the middle of the box and headed towards the far post.
The second half did not see either team let up off the gas. Sky Blue’s first chance came from Imani Dorsey finding the feet of Lloyd as she broke into the Thorns final third. Lloyd got a toe on it but Franch came off her line to make the save. In the 63rd minute Dorsey dished the ball off to Lloyd again, who cut right to beat her defender and sent a rocket towards goal but was denied by the inside of the post.
Sky Blue FC heads south to face the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, May 4 (7 p.m. ET) at WakeMed Soccer Park. The team will return home on Saturday, May 11, (3 p.m. ET) to face the Washington Spirit on Champion Women Day.