Monaghan’s Brace Leads Sky Blue Past Chicago

Monaghan. Sky Blue FC
Paige Monaghan. Photo: Sky Blue FC

It’s been a tough season for Sky Blue FC, but on Wednesday night New Jersey native Paige Monaghan provided fans with a memorable moment.

Facing the Chicago Red Stars at home, Monaghan scored twice — including once in stoppage time — to lead Sky Blue to a 2-1 victory. 

In the 71st minute, the Succasunna, N.J.-native teamed with her fellow Garden State resident Carli Lloyd to give Sky Blue a 1-0 lead. 

Lloyd with the ball on the left side of the field beat two Chicago defenders to cut into the middle and send a ball through the backline to Monaghan. As Monaghan collected in the box, she cut back to her right foot and put her shot past Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher into the upper right corner of the goal for her first career goal

“Carli had the ball and peeled out wide, she had the perfect hole to slip me through, I cut the girl inside and smacked it as hard as I could far post and it went in,” Monaghan said. “It was really cool my first goal, but probably an even better feeling having an assist from Carli Lloyd.” 

With the home side on the verge of its third win of the season, former Sky Blue star Sam Kerr did her best to dampen the party. One minute into stoppage time, Naeher sent a free-kick into the box where Yuki Nagasato would secure the ball and find Kerr. The Australian international would beat Sky Blue keeper Kailen Sheridan to level the match at one.

But Monaghan was not done. Three minutes into stoppage time, the rookie would get her brace to give Sky Blue the three points. 

With control in the midfield, Lloyd collected a pass and quickly played it up to Julie James Doyle in the middle of the field. Doyle sent a pass into Monaghan, who recognized Naeher was off her line and shot high for the game-winner.

“I saw Naeher off her line and knew I had to one-touch it to finish so I just hit it near post,” Monaghan said. “My team really set me up on that one; I just had to put it away.”

Up next for Sky Blue is a match with Reign FC at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff Sunday is at 1 p.m.