Some action in the Sky Blue FC-Washington Spirit match. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sky Blue FC earned its third consecutive preseason victory with a 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit at Audi Field Sunday.
Paige Monaghan and Sodam Lee scored for the visitors in the battle between National Women’s Soccer League teams.
“It’s great to go into the start of the Challenge Cup with our 3-0 preseason,” head coach Freya Coombe saod. “We knew today would be our biggest challenge but we were very disciplined defensively in the first half and then we were able to play more possession in the second half. Attacking offensively we asked for ourselves to be efficient and make those final balls and final chances count and that’s what happened with our goals today.”
Added Monaghan: “It was great transition that started with McCall who played me through. Obviously facing an NWSL for the first time in a long time, we definitely knew it would have its challenges but I think we had some small victories today. It’s awesome that we won but we have a lot more work to do and I’m looking forward to it.”
Sky Blue capitalized on its first opportunity when midfielder and captain Zerboni McCall Zerboni sent a through ball up the right side into the path of an onrushing Monaghan. She sent a low strike in that deflected off the Spirit keeper and into the net.
After an errant Sky Blue pass in the 37tht minute, the Spirit equalized by finding Ashley Sanchez near the top of the goal. She put in a short range shot past an outstretched DiDi Haracic. Sky Blue defender Mandy Freeman was awarded a yellow card after the goal.
On the hour, Lee scored off a volley that turned out to be the game-winner that snapped the deadlock.
This marked the final preseason match for Sky Blue. The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup begins April 9 and a 24-match season kicks off May 15.