With less than a month to go before the start of the 2019 season, Sky Blue FC kicked off its preseason schedule with a 6-0 win over the St. John’s University women’s soccer team.
For head coach Denise Reddy and her players, a strong start even in the preseason allows the team to take another step away from 2018 when Sky Blue was victorious only once. But despite the team’s lopsided record (1-17-6), Sky Blue may not have far to go for significant improvement this year. In addition to its six draws last season, 11 of its 17 losses were by one goal.
Following the match against the Red Storm at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. Reddy told SleterFC.com that despite Sky Blue’s tough season in 2018, the players remained positive.
“One of the strong assets of the team is that no matter what happened last year, everyone was in with 100 percent effort,” she said. “Obviously everyone wants to win, but we ended the season strong and started off this season with a clean sheet.”
On Saturday, Sky Blue was sharp offensively with rookie Paige Monaghan and veteran Carli Lloyd, both New Jersey natives, each netting a brace. Imani Dorsey, the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year, and Jen Hoy also chipped in with a goal each.
Monaghan, who was informed she would be in the starting 11 just prior to kickoff, was quick to share credit for her goals with her Sky Blue teammates.
“Carli (Lloyd) had assists on both and they were the result of great build-ups,” she said. “I had the easy job of just putting them in the back of the net.
Throughout the 90 minutes, Sky Blue was crisp and continually on the front foot and was focused on quick one-touch or two-touch ball movement.
“We have been playing a lot of 11v11 in training, so I think that is maybe why we felt a little more comfortable when we got here today,” Reddy said. “We set out wanting to accomplish some attacking goals and I think we over accomplished them. Of course, there are always improvements to be made.”
Sky Blue will open the 2019 season April 13 on the road against the Washington Spirit. Its home opener is set for April 20 against former St. John’s star Rachel Daly and the Houston Dash at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University.