Mandy Freeman scored Sky Blue FC’s second goal. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)
HANOVER, N.J. – Four players scored to lead Sky Blue FC to a 4-0 preseason win over the University of Virginia in a closed door match at the Red Bulls Training Facility Saturday afternoon.
Ifeoma Onumonu, Mandy Freeman, Nicole Baxter and Elizabeth Eddy scored for the National Women’s Soccer League team. Team captain McCall Zerboni added two assists.
“Virginia presented a great challenge for us today with high pressure from the start,” Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe said. “We are pleased with our ability to build on another clean sheet, put away some goals, and are looking forward to our next preseason challenge.”
After somewhat of a slow start, Sky Blue drew first blood in the 13th minute through a counter-attack that saw Zerbonii slot a ball through the middle of the field to an onrushing Onumonu, who scored.
In the 24th minute Imani Dorsey stepped took a corner kick from the left side that found its way into traffic. Zerboni got a flick on the ball. Freeman, a defender, was there on the farside of the net to knock it home for a 2-0 lead.
Baxter made it 3-0 in the 59th minute. She charged the UVA goalkeeper as she was attempting to the kick the ball up field. Baxter stripped her of the ball and tapped it into an open net from short range.
Goal No. 4 came in the 83rd minute, when midfielder Sodam Lee played a ball behind the backline to Eddy, who rounded the goalkeeper to score.
“We have been doing a lot of intrasquad play this year so testing ourselves against a solid UVA team was really important for us,” Baxter said. “It was cool for me to get on the score sheet, but ultimately it was a result of great team defending and I am just really proud of how we got better and better on our defensive press throughout the game.”
Sky Blue FC travels to the Washington Spirit in a preseason matchup Sunday, March 28.
The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup begins April 9 and a 24-match season kicks off May 15.