The quasi dark side of RBNY fandom.
Seattle Reign, the only team in the NWSL yet to earn a win this season, played host to NJ’s Sky Blue FC on Sunday afternoon. Multiple yellow cards, injures, a penalty kick, and three SBFC goals proved for an exciting game.
Lisa De Vanna opened the scoring with a goal in the 9th minute. The assist came from her fellow Australian Caitlin Foord who slipped a ball right to De Vanna’s feet, she poked it past the goalkeeper to bring SBFC a quick lead. The early goal allowed for Sky Blue to maintain possession and control the first half. The team distributed the ball well and shifted the momentum in their favor.
Seattle came out strong in the second half, with an early foul on Kendall Johnson. Sky Blue had a scare in the 50th minute when Brittany Cameron came off of her line to get a ball. Tiffany Cameron, a Reign forward, got loose and nearly beat Cameron to the ball. The two got tangled up as the goalkeeper fought for possession. Tiffany ended up committing a foul and the play ended without harm.
In the 62nd minute, Jenny Ruiz took down Lisa De Vanna in the box. She was issued a yellow card and De Vanna was awarded a penalty kick. The card was Ruiz’s second of the match, and she was sent off the field for Seattle. Seatlle would play down a man for the rest of the match. De Vanna’s penalty kick was a hard shot towards the left side of Haley Kopmeyer. Kopmeyer made a diving save and kept Sky Blue to a 1-0 lead.
The match grew even more chippy, as each team earned more yellow cards. In the 79th minute, Kelley O’Hara was taken down just outside of the box. Sophie Schmidt stepped up to take the free kick and curled the ball past the player wall and into the goal. It appeared as though Kopmeyer couldn’t see around her wall, as she didn’t even react to the shot. The goal was Schmidt’s fourth of the season and put SBFC up 2-0.
With three minutes left of regular time, Taylor Lytle received a bouncing ball from Kelley O’Hara. Lytle made a one-touch shot and sailed the ball directly over Kopmeyer’s head and into the net. The goal solidified a 3-0 win for NJ.
Brittany Bock made her return appearance since breaking a rib in the opening match this season. She was on the field for no more than ten minutes when she apparently collided with a Seattle midfielder. She fell to the ground and her team immediately signaled for a substitute. We would later find out that she broke her left wrist. She’s expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
Lisa De Vanna also took a hard hit in the second half. She was slow to get up and went to the sideline before re-entering the match a few minutes later.
With Portland Thorns earning a victory this weekend as well, Sky Blue remains tied with them for first place at 16 points. The team returns to NJ after two wins on the road. Their next match will be in Kansas City on Saturday, May 25th.