Sky Blue FC opened the 2019 season with a 2-0 loss to the Washington Spirit on the road at Maryland SoccerPlex.
Following a scoreless first half in which the visitors had several good opportunities, the Spirit would take the lead in the 59th minute. Following a corner kick that Sky Blue failed to clear, the ball fell to Washington rookie Samantha Staab who was able to connect and find the back of the net.
A goal two minutes into stoppage time by Meegan Crosson would secure the three points for Washington.
Although Sky Blue was unable to beat Spirit keeper Audrey Bledsoe, they did have some good scoring chances early on. In the 11th minute, midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi would find Carli Lloyd on a cross but Lloyd’s header would bang off the crossbar.
In the 31st minute, a corner kick from Domi Richardson bounced around the Washington six-yard box before being cleared off the line.
Sky Blue keeper Kailen Sheridan was the busier of the two keepers on the night. Washington finished the match with 15 shots — five on goal — with Sheridan credited with three saves.
Sky Blue’s rookies Julie James started her first professional match and New Jersey native Paige Monaghan made her professional debut. James put in a strong shift in the midfield and was subbed out by Monaghan in the 67th minute. Monaghan almost made an instant impact as she was slipped a ball in the box but Bledsoe ran out to deny her shot.
Sky Blue FC returns home on Saturday, April 20, (6 p.m. ET) to face the Houston Dash.