Own goal costs Sky Blue FC a draw against Utah Royals

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PISCATAWAY, NJ - MAY 19: Sky Blue FC forward Shea Groom (6) during the first half of the National Womens Soccer League game between the North Carolina Courage and Sky Blue FC on May 19, 2018, at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY (June 2, 2018) – Sky Blue FC was only five minutes away from securing their second draw of the 2018 season.

Instead, an 85th-minute own goal by defender Mandy Freeman gave the Utah Royals FC their first road victory of the year.

Sky Blue has struggled this entire season. The New Jersey-based club has yet to win their first NWSL match of the season. With some key players away on international duty, Sky Blue couldn’t muster up a victory.

Own goal costs Sky Blue FC a draw against Utah Royals

However, Shea Groom did score her first goal of the season.

Groom’s goal was the early equalizer in the 10th minute. The goal was assisted by Katie Johnson, a Mexican international.

The goal evened out Diana Matheson’s goal for the Royals, which was assisted by Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir.

Matheson said that Jónsdóttir had “a great service” on both goals.

“We knew the weak-side space was going to be on, so she hit a great ball, and I just closed by eyes and hoped it went in,” Matheson said. “She hit a great ball on the second goal as well.”

However, the second half own goal declared Utah the winners. After the match, Sky Blue FC Head Coach Denise Reddy mentioned how her side found a rhythm in the second half.

“We made some changes to our formation during halftime to get on the front foot and put players in more positive areas,” Reddy said. “Following those adjustments, we were able to create some good opportunities, but we have to do a better job of closing more of our chances.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Don’t think too much of it, Royals fans: While it’s great to earn the first road win of the season, Utah Royals FC fans shouldn’t look too deep into the match. Sky Blue FC, as mentioned, hasn’t won a single game this whole season. The team is in last place for a reason. Laura Harvey was right when she called the match an “ugly” win. “I don’t think it was the prettiest or most efficient game we’ve played with the ball, but I think that’s just how the game goes,” Harvey said.
  2. Why isn’t Tymrak starting? Laura Harvey has mentioned that Erika Tymrak is a solid substitute, but with the way Utah is struggling it might be time to give her the start. With over 100 appearances in the NWSL, Utah could use her leadership, especially with Becky Sauerbrunn on international duty.
  3. Will Denise Reddy survive the whole season? Last year, Christy Holly announced his resignation from the club in August. While it doesn’t look like Denise Reddy will do the same, it’s a wonder to if the former Washington Spirit assistant coach will last the whole season.

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