Carli Lloyd tallied her seventh goal of the season. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)
HARRISON, N.J. – There were no playoffs in the immediate future for the team, but Sky Blue FC finished its National Women’s Soccer League home season in dramatic fashion at Red Bull Arena Sunday.
U.S. international Carli Lloyd scored the equalizing goal in the 88th minute to boost Sky Blue FC (5-13-5, 20 points) into a 1-1 draw with the Orlando Pride in front of 8,314 spectators.
Sarah Killion started the scoring sequence with a corner kick, sending it Lloyd. With two defenders surrounding her, Lloyd rose above them and redirected the header into the right corner of the goal. It was Lloyd’s seventh goal of the season.
Pride forward Marta tested goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan with a curling shot through traffic in the 10th minute, but Sheridan was up for the task and made a diving save.
Defender Shelina Zadorsky put Orlando up 1-0 in the 18th minute. A free kick was sent into the box and skipped its way through to Zadorsky at the back post. Zadorsky sent it into the back of the net.
With stoppage time coming to an end, Marta fired a free kick off the crossbar.
The second half started off with Pride defender Ali Krieger almost scoring an own goal. Killion whipped in a corner kick that Krieger tried to head away but sent it backward and hitting off the crossbar. Lloyd came close to an equalizer but sent her header just over the bar in the 55th minute.
Sheridan came up big with a kick save on the hour as forward Clair Emslie sent a low cross through the box as Pride players rushed in on goal.
Sky Blue continued to pressure Orlando with a nice build-up play in the 88th minute between Killion and Nahomi Kawasumi. Killion launched a ball into open space for Kawasumi on the left side of the box. Kawasumi sent it back to Killion, but her shot was blocked.
After Lloyd equalized, Sky Blue had a chance to score in stoppage time as Elizabeth Eddy took on goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris 1 v 1. Harris blocked the shot. Eddy went for the rebound, she was taken down and a foul was awarded to Orlando.
Sky Blue FC visits North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park in its season finale Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. ET.