Jodie Taylor ‘s 78th-minute goal snapped a 1-1 tie between Reign FC ( 1-1-3, 6 points) and New Jersey side Sky Blue FC ( 0-4-2, 2 points) Saturday afternoon at Cheney Stadium and earned the home side a 2-1 win for its first victory of the season. Both teams entered the contest on the front in pursuit of the first win of the season. Sky Blue FC started the game with a high press and converted on an early miscue by Reign FC defender Lauren Barnes.
Savannah McCaskill picked off a Barnes pass in Reign FC’s defensive third and laid the ball off to Nahomi Kawasumi. Kawasumi connected with Raquel Rodriguez with a casual cross at the back post to open the scoring.
Reign FC exerted some pressure of its own and the result was an own goal by Sky Blue midfielder Julie James who’s attempted header clearance wound up in the back of the Sky Blue net for the equalizer three minutes later
Taylor’s game-winner was an earned opportunistic goal. A Shea Groom cross from the right side was knocked back toward goal by a defender, forcing keeper Didi Haracic into a diving stop to deny a second own goal. As the ball continued to roll toward the goal line, Taylor sprinted forward and tapped the ball in for the game-winning goal.
Reign FC keeper Michelle Betos sustained an injury early into second-half stoppage time. After several minutes with the trainer and team doctor, Betos was helped off the pitch. Out of substitutes, Andonovski turned to midfielder Morgan Andrews to close out the match. Andrews did not register a save but did collect a cross to deny Sky Blue FC a late opportunity.
Midfielder Beverly Yanez earned Player of the Match honors, helping Reign FC transition into the final third. Yanez finished with three shots, 10 recoveries, one interception and two tackles won in a 90-minute performance that helped the club hold up Sky Blue’s counter-attacks.
Reign FC outshot Sky Blue 20-6 and had an 11-2 advantage on corners, but only put four shots on target in the win.
Match: Reign FC vs. Sky Blue FC
Date: May 18, 2019
Venue: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Wash.
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 66 degrees, sunny
Goals by half 1 2 Total
RFC 1 1 2
NJ 1 0 1
NJ – Raquel Rodriguez (Nahomi Kawasumi) 10’
RFC – Julie James (own goal) 13’
RFC – Jodie Taylor 78’
NJ – Savannah McCaskill (caution) 45+1’
RFC – Ifeoma Onumonu (caution) 90+8’
Lineups & Stats
RFC: GK Michelle Betos, D Steph Catley (D Christen Westphal 46’), D Lauren Barnes, D Megan Oyster, D Theresa Nielsen, M Kristen McNabb, M Morgan Andrews, M Beverly Yanez, F Darian Jenkins (F Bethany Balcer 73’), F Jodie Taylor (F Ifeoma Onumonu 85’), F Shea Groom
Substitutes Not Used: GK Lydia Williams, M Morgan Proffitt, F Jaycie Johnson, F Maegan Kelly
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
Shots on goal: 4
Corner kicks: 11
NJ: GK Didi Haracic, D Caprice Dydasco, D Domi Richardson, D Erica Skroski, D Paige Monaghan, M Julie James (Amandine Pierre-Lewis 79’), M Nahomi Kawasumi, M Sarah Killion, F Imani Dorsey, F Raquel Rodriguez, F Savannah McCaskill (Jen Hoy 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kaylan Marckese, M Sabrina Flores, M Kenie Wright, F McKenzie Meehan
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
Shots on goal: 3
Corner kicks: 2