Monica Ocampo broke a scoreless draw in the 75th minute to lead Sky Blue FC past the Washington Spirit 1-0 on Saturday night. The goal was Ocampo’s fifth of the season.
Katy Freels found Danesha Adams on the right side and the UCLA product saw her initial shot blocked by Spirit defender Candace Chapman. The ball ricocheted off of Chapman and fell to Ocampo who was able to touch a shot past Ashlyn Harris to give the home side the lead.
It was a night of little offensive opportunities as the heat and humidity played a role in slowing the game down on a hot, sticky night at Yurcak Field.
Washington forward Conny Pohlers had the best chance for either team midway through the first half. She took a pass from Chapman on the right side and was able to get in 1v1 on Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Brittany Cameron. Pohlers was unable to get a shot off as her first touch was a bit too hard and Cameron slid out to make the save in the 25th minute.
Sky Blue FC had a chance to get on the board just past the hour mark when second half substitute Kelley O’Hara saw her left-footed attempt go wide of the target. O’Hara, who has been battling an ankle injury, was not slated to play, but saw 45 minutes of action off the bench.
Lindsay Taylor made her debut for Washington, coming on for an injured Colleen Williams just five minutes into the contest. Williams was seen on crutches following her exit and announced via Twitter on Monday that she had suffered a season-ending ACL/MCL tear.
With the win, Sky Blue FC improved to 9-3-3 and remained at the top of the table, extending their lead over second place Portland to a four point gap.
The Spirit, who were able to control more possession but were unable to generate much in the attacking third, fell to 1-8-4 with the loss.
Sky Blue FC will next be in action when the host the Boston Breakers on July 13 for the fourth and final meeting between the two teams. Washington will meet the Chicago Red Stars at the Maryland SoccerPlex for the first two meetings between the clubs on July 10.
- Colleen Williams Injury & What it means: The Spirit have already lost Caroline Miller for the rest of the season (as Mike Jorden mentioned following the loss to Western New York on June 28). With Williams out for the rest of the season, that puts them at minus two players due to injury. As outlined by the league, this falls into the “at league discretion” policy on roster relief.
- Tori Huster…Offsides?: Having seen a clear screenshot/photo of the positioning of the players, Sky Blue FC got a bit lucky on this one. Huster clearly had two Sky Blue FC players behind her holding her onside.
- Monica Ocampo: Ocampo has scored all five of her goals since June 16 and has stepped up with the absence of some key players. She’s had an impressive last three matches as she’s found the back of the net four times. For the New Jersey club who has seen Lisa De Vanna and Sophie Schmidt carry the majority of the scoring, it adds another dimension to their attack.
- Missing in Action: Sky Blue FC was without both Caitlin Foord and Lisa De Vanna who were in Europe with the Australian women’s national team. Sophie Schmidt was also unavailable as she sat out the match due to red card suspension.
Washington Spirit 0 0 0
Sky Blue FC 0 1 1
SBFC – Ocampo 74′
WASHINGTON – Harris, Chapman, Krieger, Huster, Roberts, Matheson, Lindsey (C), Williams (Taylor 6′)(McCarthy 56′), Pressley, Pohlers (Spencer 80′), Ochs
Substitutes Not Used: Jones, King, Toulouse, Worbis
SKY BLUE FC – Cameron, Thompson, Goodson, Rampone(C), Johnson, Makoski, Freels, Lytle, Rangel (O’Hara 46′), Adams, Ocampo (Breton 75′)
Substitutes Not Used: Bock, Booth, Lisonbee-Cutshall, Loyden, Schulmann