Utah’s Amy Rodriguez scored the lone goal of the match. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
SANDY, Utah — Will Sky Blue FC ever win a game this season?
Will the National Women’s Soccer League team duplicate last year’s awful 1-17-6 finish?
Well, the New Jersey side is well on the road to copying its 2018 season as it remained winless with a 0-6-2 record after dropping a 1-0 decision to Utah Royals FC at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night.
Amy Rodriquez scored in the first half as the hosts made sure that held up for the win.
Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Didi Haracic was called in the sixth minute, Dorward Vero Boquete sent in a free kick that was dipping towards the right corner, but the keeper’s outstretched hand sent the ball over the frame.
In the 11th minute, Boquete threaded a ball to Rodriguez, putting her 1 v 1 with Haracic but she shot wide. Rodriguez sprinted with the ball to open space in the middle of the field and sent a long-range shot to the back of the net in the 16th minute.
Sky Blue’s first opportunity to equalize came in the 27th minute as Savannah McCaskill sent in a dipping shot towards goal, just falling short of Paige Monaghan’s foot. Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart held onto the ball as Monaghan collided with her.
Jersey defender Erica Skroski denied a potential shot on goal as she tracked back into the box to stop Amy Rodriguez with a slide tackle in the 33rd minute. Three minutes later, Haracic made a diving save as Mallory Weber found open space on the left side of the field and sent a shot to the near post.
Monaghan earned a free kick right outside Utah’s penalty area in stoppage time. Raquel Rodriguez sent a curling shot towards the right post, but the diving Barnhart punched the ball away.
Sky Blue had three big chances in the final half to equalize.
Four minutes in, Sabrina Flores sent the ball up the right side to Monaghan, who cut back a pass to McCaskill in front of goal. Defender Gaby Vincent deflected the shot.
In the 52nd minute, Rodriguez beat three defenders on the right side and sent a low shot to the far post. Barnhart tipped the ball away to Naho Kawasumi, who sent the deflection off the post.
Only a minute later, McCaskill took a shot from distance, almost chipping Barnhart but the ball hit off the top of the crossbar.
Rookie Sabrina Flores made her NWSL debut, starting at right back. Midfielder Elizabeth Eddy made her Sky Blue FC debut, replacing McCaskill in the 78th minute.
Sky Blue FC head home to face the Orlando Pride at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. June 22 at 7 p.m.