Sky Blue FC played some of its best soccer of the season, but it wasn’t enough notch its first victory.
The New Jersey side altered its rotation, held Seattle scoreless in the first half and narrowly won the possession battle, but a second-half Megan Rapinoe goal gave the Reign a 1-0 road win Saturday night.
Seattle improved to 5-2-2 with 17 points, holding onto second place in the NWSL table.
Sky Blue FC dropped to 0-7-1 with one point, remaining firmly in last place in the league and the only winless NWSL team.
Thaisa Moreno and Sarah Killion started in the midfield for Sky Blue FC with Carli Lloyd up top in an attacking role. Katie Johnson, Janine Beckie and Savannah McCaskill lined up on the front line , opening up more space in the final third.
“We made some tweaks to our formation tonight to put a few more players in attacking situations,” Sky Blue FC coach Denise Reddy said. “Knowing how dangerous Seattle is, we were also looking to protect certain areas of the field to limit their offensive opportunities. Overall, I thought this was a great game of soccer, and I am proud of the effort that our players put forth.”
Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams finished with four saves, turning away a shot from Lloyd that could have given Sky Blue an early lead.
In the 64th minute Christen Westphal led a run on the left flank and fired to Rapinoe, who pushed the ball to the far post and gave the Reign a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish. It was Rapinoe’s fifth goal of the season.
With the win, the Seattle Reign secured a three-game season sweep of Sky Blue FC.