Midge Purce (23) proved to be the difference for Sky Blue FC. (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
LEESBURG, Va. – The first game of the 2020 NWSL Fall Series certainly had its drama, some drama that Sky Blue FC would have preferred to avoid.
The final minutes certainly had plenty of ups and downs for both sides Saturday.
First of all, Paige Nielsen converted an 89th-minute penalty kick to knot things up at 1-1 for the Washington Spirit.
Then Sky Blue FC’s Mallory Pugh sent her shot off the left post in the first minute of stoppage time.
The U.S. international set up Midge Purce with a pass that led to her goal a minute later to lift the New Jersey side to a 2-1 victory in the National Women’s Soccer League encounter.
— CBS Sports Soccer (@CBSSportsSoccer) September 5, 2020
Ifeoma Onumonu helped Sky Blue draw first blood in the 18th minute as stripped a Washington defender of the ball on the right side and raced in on the net for a 1-0 advantage.
As time was winding down in regulation, Sky Blue was called for a penalty after a foul in the area. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan dove the right way but could not Nielsen stop Nielsen’s shot into the lower left corner.
It appeared that Pugh, who came on as a second-half substitute in her first appearances for the club, was going to score the game-winner but her attempt bounded off the left post a minute into stoppage time.
— Sky Blue FC (@SkyBlueFC) September 5, 2020
Seconds later, Sky Blue regained possession and Pugh set up Purce for the game-winner from 14 yards.