PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rookie forward Paige Monaghan struck twice to lift Sky Blue FC to its third win of the National Women’s Soccer League season, a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field Wednesday night.
Sky Blue FC (12 points) improved to 3-11-3.
“It was awesome,” Monaghan said. “Looking at this season it can be challenging but you have to take it one game one moment at a time. So, it was awesome going up one nothing but unfortunately we let out at a moment when we were tied 1-1. But I knew for my teammates all the work they put in for me I had to do it for them, so it was huge for us and I think it shows that we need to stay fresh on these moments and we can’t turn off any moments because we are not always going to win 2-1 in [stoppage time].”
All the scoring came in the 71st minute and onwards before a crowd of 2,558.
Monaghan scored her first career goal in the 71st minute to put Sky Blue up 1-0. Carli Lloyd beat two defenders on the left side, cut into the middle and sent a ball through the backline to Monaghan. Monaghan cut back to her right foot and ripped the shot past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and into the upper right corner.
“Carli had the ball and peeled out wide,” Monaghan said. “She had the perfect hole to slip me through. I cut the girl inside and smacked it as hard as I could far post and it went in. It was really cool my first goal, but probably an even better feeling having an assist from Carli Lloyd.”
Australian international Sam Kerr wasn’t ready to give up for Chicago as she answered back in stoppage time to tie the game up 1-1. In the 91st minute, Naeher sent a free kick into the box and the ball bounced off a few heads heads until forward Yuki Nagasato headed it to the feet of Kerr, who drilled her shot home.
Sky Blue, however, had some gas left in its tank. Lloyd collected a pass and played it up to Julie James Doyle, who was open in the middle. Doyle sent a pass to Monaghan, who noticed Naeher was off her line, and ripped a shot over her for the game-winner.
“I peeled out and [Doyle] slipped the ball in,” Monaghan said. “I saw Naeher off her line and knew I had to one-touch it to finish so I just hit it near post. My team really set me up on that one; I just had to put it away.”
On Sunday, Sky Blue FC will play its match at Red Bull Arena and Reign FC with kickoff at 1 p.m.