Sky Blue FC’s rough start to the 2018 NWSL season continued Wednesday night.
The New Jersey side fell 1-0 to the Washington Spirit in front an announced crowd of 2,433 at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
It was winless Sky Blue FC’s (0-6-1, 1 point) sixth defeat of the year.
Carli Loyd continued to be active starting the Sky Blue attack, but the team struggled to finish.
In the 27th minute, Lloyd played the ball to Katie Johnson on the left. Johnson fed Janine Beckie, who fired the ball to the upper right corner of goal. Spirit (2-5-2, 8 points) goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe punched the ball away.
Sky Blue FC’s Christina Gibbons fouled Mallory Pugh, triggering a game-changing free kick.
In the 64th minute, Ashley Hatch headed home a free kick by Andi Sullivan to give Washington a 1-0 advantage it never surrendered.
“Obviously, this was an unfortunate result for us,” Sky Blue FC coach Denise Reddy said. “We probably should have been up one or two goals during the first half, and we got a bit pressed in the second half. In order to get at least a point on the road, we have to have to capitalize on our chances, and we cannot allow ourselves to give up a goal on a set piece.”
Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle made her 2018 NWSL debut during the match, subbing on in the 74th minute after recovering from a hamstring strain.
In the 87th, Sky Blue looked as though it might tie the match. Savannah McCaskill took a free kick that was headed by Lloyd, but Bledsoe delivered another save.
Bledsoe finished with four saves and earned her second shutout of the season.