MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Forward Paige Monaghan scored twice and set up a third to power Sky Blue FC to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars at MSU Soccer Park at Montclair State University Saturday.
Ifeoma Onumonu added the third goal in Sky Blue’s NWSL Fall Series finale. The New Jersey club, which scored all its goals in the first half, finished finished at 2-2-0 and six points and in fourth place.
“Going into the game, we knew that Chicago likes to be aggressive with the way that they play,” Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe said. “We knew that we would be able to get in behind at times, and we focused on making sure that we took advantage of that. I could not ask for more in terms of our clinical finishing that we had on those opportunities. The front three performed excellently today.”
Sky Blue drew first blood in the 25th minute when defender Erica Skroski found Midge Purce running free on the right sideline. Purce played the ball across the goal and past the defenders to the feet of Monaghan, who tapped the ball home for a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Chicago looked for the equalizer. Forward Kealia Watt ran toward the goal on the right side of the box. Sky Blue defender Imani Dorsey made a crucial tackle and knocked the ball over the end line and away from danger.
Sky Blue doubled its lead in the 35th minute when midfielder Sarah Woldmoe played a through ball to Monaghan on the left sideline. Monaghan played the ball first-time across the box to Onumonu, who one-touched it past past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher for her third goal of the series.
Sky Blue’s dynamic trio was back for more in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Purce found space on the right sideline and played a ball across the box to Monaghan near the far-left corner of the six. Monaghan headed the ball into the back of the net for a three-goal advantage.
The Red Stars finally got on the board in the 88th minute, when they earned a free-kick just outside of the left corner of the box. Defender Tierna Davidson curled the ball towards the far post. The cross connected with Morgan Gautrat, who headed ball to the near post.