Sky Blue FC Reign over Seattle in 2-0 Shutout Win
By Sky Blue FC
With two first half goals, Sky Blue FC (3-1-1, 10 points) locked down a solid 2-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Reign FC (0-4-1, 1 point) at Yurcak Field. Sky Blue's FC's impressive attacking performance was highlighted by a goal from Danesha Adams in the 30th minute, closely followed by a second from Lisa De Vanna only 5 minutes later.
The action started early in the 3rd minute with a shot that streaked wide of the net by Sky Blue FC's Kelly O'Hara. A cross from Caitlin Foord led to two Sky Blue FC corner kick opportunities all within the first 4 minutes of play. The team's momentum was slowed slightly by a couple of delays to the game including an injury scare to Seattle Reign FC captain Keelin Winters. She was able to return to action without the need of medical attention.
The Reign had its first real scoring opportunity in the 11th minute when a cross from the right flank by Winters found the head of Tiffany Cameron. Although her header was launched over the crossbar, it made a resounding statement that the Reign attack was a force with whom to be reckoned.
Both teams featured some artful passing combinations through the defense and midfield, keeping the ball sailing smoothly over the slightly-damp grass. The Reign looked to send speedy Kiersten Dallstream behind the Sky Blue FC defense multiple times, only to be shut down by the menacing defensive duo of Christie Rampone and CoCo Goodson.
Despite efforts to protect her goal, Reign keeper Michelle Betos met her match in the 30th minute when Sky Blue FC defender Rampone launched a free kick into her box. Betos' punch landed at the feet of Danesha Adams who swiftly put the ball in the back of the net to give Sky Blue FC the lead. A one goal lead wasn't enough for the feisty De Vanna, as 5 minutes later she stole the ball from a Reign defender to put herself one on one with the goalie. She slotted it away easily to give Sky Blue FC a 2-0 lead.
The first half seemed to be coming to a close, but the Reign's dynamic center midfielder, Jessica Fishlock, was determined to put her team back into the mix. She found herself one on one with the keeper but was unable to finish against Cameron, the Week 1 NWSL Player of the Week, the same week Fishlock herself was also nominated.
Seattle's team came out after halftime with some fire, determined not to suffer yet another loss. The team's best chance of the game came in the 68th minute when a cross found its way to Dallstream who seemed sure to score, until the outstretched arm of keeper Cameron saved Sky Blue FC's day. That wouldn't end up being the only dramatic goalmouth save of the game: in the 87th minute, super-sub Taylor Lytle cleared the ball off the line with her head a la Kristine Lilly, famous for doing so in the 1999 Women's World Cup final.
The three subs allotted to each team were used, Sky Blue FC perhaps in a hope to add more defensive force to protect its lead, while the Reign looked to push forward with fresh attacking legs coming off the bench. As time wound down, Sky Blue FC's combination of disciplined defense and unyielding attack gave no doubt to excited fans of the team's victory, which propelled it into the league's first place seat shared with Portland Thorns FC.