Sky Blue FC, Boston Breakers Play To Scoreless Tie
Despite the offensive firepower from both sides, neither team was able to find the back of the net as the two teams finished scoreless before a crowd of 3,418 at Yurcak Field.
Sky Blue FC did see two familiar faces return to the field tonight, as defender Meghan Schnur made her first start since the second match of the season and forward Tasha Kai came on as a second half substitute to earn her first minutes since April 25.
Defender Christie Rampone was dressed for the match but did not play as she continues to work her way back after giving birth to her second daughter Reece on March 6, 2010.
Sky Blue FC didn’t take long to start their offensive onslaught as Meghan Schnur made her presence felt immediately from the opening whistle. Schnur’s cross found Kiersten Dallstream in only the second minute of the match, but the young forward’s shot went just wide of the target.
Four minutes later, midfielder Kacey White brought down a misplayed goal kick before slotting it through to Heather O’Reilly. O’Reilly took the ball around Boston goalkeeper Ashley Phillips, but hit her shot into the side netting.
In the 11th minute, Brazilian midfielder Rosana found herself with some space outside the area and unleashed a blast that seemed to surprise Phillips as she just barely was able to punch it out.
The Breakers began to even out the chances as the dangerous combination of English striker Kelly Smith and rookie Lauren Cheney combined with Kristine Lilly for a chance, but Cheney’s shot was went wide left in the 14th minute.
O’Reilly had another golden opportunity to put the home side on top after she split her defenders on the right side before firing a shot that went wide left in the 35th minute.
Sky Blue FC’s final opportunity of the half again came off of O’Reilly’s foot. Her shot from just outside the area went just above the bar.
The two teams went into the half scoreless, despite the opportunities that both teams had throughout the first 45 minutes.
Boston’s best chance of the match up to that point came just seconds into the second half as Cheney took a ball down the right flank before beating Bardsley one on one. Similar to O’Reilly in the first half, she was unable to convert the chance with such a tight angle.
Minutes later, Sky Blue FC had a big chance to take the lead as Tasha Kai fed O’Reilly on the right side but Phillips made a diving stop on the play. Kai and O’Reilly connected several other times at the beginning of the second half in an effort to gain the lead, but were unsuccessful.
Boston turned their own offense up a notch, causing several scary moments in the box for the home team but Sky Blue was able to clear time and time again to protect the clean sheet, led by the stellar play of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
It was Bardsley’s league leading fourth shut-out of the season.
“She’s the backbone of this team,” Miettinen said of Bardsley. “Even when we have something dangerous going on, I’m not too concerned because I have so much confidence in her. She’s definitely someone we know we can rely on, and I have no doubt that she will be there to make the saves.”
With the tie, Sky Blue FC continues to sit in third place at 3-2-2 with 11 points.
They will take on the Philadelphia Independence on the road next Sunday, June 6 before taking on the Breakers in a rematch in Boston on June 13.
Sky Blue FC’s next home match will be on Saturday, June 19 when they take on Philadelphia. For tickets, please visit www.womensprosoccer.com/ny or call 1-888-SBFC-TIX.
Photo courtsey of Howard C. Smith - ISI Photos.
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