Sky Blue Tops Chicago For Season’s First Win

Sky Blue,
Sky Blue FC's Raquel Rodriguez. Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos

The wait for the season’s first win is over as Sky Blue FC defeated the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 on the road Saturday in Chicago.

Raquel Rodriguez netted the first goal of the game for Sky Blue off a buildup started by Sabrina Flores in the 22nd minute. Flores sent a long ball down the field to Paige Monaghan, who was able to collect and have a quick one-two pass with Elizabeth Eddy. After Monaghan received the ball back, she slipped it into Rodriguez who was running in space and slotted it to the far-right post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Keeper Kailen Sheridan had a 10-minute time span of several big saves to keep Sky Blue in the lead. In the 58th minute, Chicago took a corner kick that was punched out by Sheridan but headed back into the box and bounced to the feet of Sam Kerr. With a quick reaction, Sheridan was able to kick save a point-blank shot from Kerr. 

In the 66th minute, Vanessa DiBernardo sent in a long-range pass to forward Katie Johnson on the right flank, who cut it back into the middle and sent it to midfielder Michele Vasconcelos. Reading the play, Sheridan came off her line to make another kick save. A minute later, Arin Wright sent in a ball from the left side heading towards Kerr, but Sheridan was able to punch it out of danger.

Called to action again in the 72nd minute, Sheridan was able to jump up and grab a ball that was flicked up at goal by Johnson but didn’t have enough pace behind it, allowing for an easy save. 

In the 75th minute, Johnson was able to play in Yuki Nagasato behind the backline but Sheridan came off her line and kicked it away but only as far as midfielder Maria Sanchez who eyed up an open goal. As Sanchez sent in a low shot it, Sheridan was able to kick it away again as she backtracked to goal.

Sky Blue went up 2-0 in the 81st minute as a determined Jen Hoy was able to find the back of the net. Kailen Sheridan sent a goal kick to the middle of the field that Julie James Doyle was able to flick back past the defense to Hoy. As she sped past the defense bringing the ball to the middle of the box, her initial shot was blocked by Chicago goalkeeper Emily Boyd, but the deflection fell back to her feet and she put the rebound to the back of the net. 

A quick response from Chicago put them back into the game as a goal from midfielder Danielle Colaprico came in the 82nd minute, which cut the Sky Blue lead to one. A clearance from a Chicago free kick was sent back to Colaprico at the top of the box and she sent in a half volley over the diving Sheridan to put the Red Stars on the board.

Sky Blue will be back at home on Friday, July 12, at Yurcak Field against Utah Royals FC at 7:30 p.m. ET for the club’s Health & Wellness night presented by RWJBarnabas Health. The following weekend, Sky Blue will head south to face the Orlando Pride on Saturday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET.