May 29, 2011

Blank's Late Goal Lifts Sky Blue

Carolyn Blank scored her second career goal in the 88th minute to break a 1-1 tie and give Sky Blue a win over the Boston Breakers.

The game, which was delayed at the start by storms, was a back-and-forth affair with both teams creating chances. Boston's Kelly Smith hit the crossbar twice in the opening minutes of the match, but neither team was able to score in the first half.

The Breakers did open the scoring early in the 2nd half. Sky Blue keeper Jen Branam was able to make a diving stop on Smith, but Kelley O'Hara knocked home the rebound to give Boston a temporary advantage in the 50th minute.

Sky Blue struck back just eight minutes later and it was two substitutions that did the work. Swedish international Therese Sjögran, who reported in at the intermission, set up Eniola Aluko, who was able to finish past Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to tie the score at one each. Aluko had entered the game midway through the first half after Adriana had suffered an injury.

O'Hara nearly got her second of the evening, as she had Branam in a one-on-one situation, but the Sky Blue keeper made an excellent save to keep the match tied.

Sjögran notched her second assist of the match as she sent the ball to Blank, who was waiting at the top of the box and the former West Virginia star put it in the net to give Sky Blue their first lead in the 88th minute.

Sky Blue remains unbeaten at home and improves to 2-3-1. They are now tied with the Breakers for fourth place, with two matches in hand. Boston falls to 2-5-1.

Next weekend, Sky Blue travels to Rochester to face Western New York for the second time this season. The Flash won the first match by a 3-1 margin. Boston hosts magicJack next Sunday, a team they lost to in their only meeting in Boca Raton.