Sky Blue FC nearly garnered their second straight road victory versus the St. Louis Athletica, but a late strike from the Athletica’s Eniola Aluko prevented the reigning champions from escaping with a victory.
Shannon Boxx got St. Louis on the board in just the 8th minute, putting her penalty kick past Sky Blue ‘keeper Karen Bardsley. The penalty kick was the result of Yael Averbuch taking Brazilian midfielder Elaine down.
Instead of allowing the penalty kick to open the floodgates, Sky Blue immediately began fighting for the equalizer.
Kiersten Dallstream, in her first start, began harassing the Athletica backline with her speed and creating opportunities for Sky Blue FC. Yael Averbuch also was dangerous, particularly on corner kicks, as several balls played in almost found the back of the net.
However, St. Louis’s backline, led by goalkeeper Hope Solo, was able to keep the Athletica’s one goal lead as the first half came to a close.
The second half saw Sky Blue FC still searching for the equalizer and it was the speedy Dallstream who started the play. She beat the Athletica defense before sending a cross that found the head of Finnish forward Laura Kalmari to tie the game in the 57th minute.
Sky Blue was back on the attack just four minutes later.
This time it was Heather O’Reilly who took off down the field, playing a cross in from the right flank that found Kalmari for her second goal of the evening. From there, Sky Blue FC turned on the defense, trying to hold onto their one goal lead.
It looked like they were on their way to getting a road victory and three points until Shannon Boxx got free and played a ball through for Eniola Aluko. Aluko slotted the ball past Bardsley to tie the game in the 85 th minute.
With the tie Sky Blue FC sits in second place (3-2-1, 10 points) and will look to pick up a win when they take on the Boston Breakers Saturday, May 29th at 7pm ET. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.womensprosoccer.com/ny or by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.
Meet the Jersey Girls package: for an additional $10, upgrade any ticket to include the Jersey girl package which includes a FREE Jersey Girls t-shirt and a post-game photo taken with the Jersey girls of Sky Blue FC – Christie Rampone, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly and Yael Averbuch.
Photo courtsey of Michael Pimentel | ISI Photos