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Carli Lloyd goal gives Sky Blue first win of the season, 1-0 over Pride
Carli Lloyd scored in the 74th minute
Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd scored her fourth goal of the NWSL season. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)
Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd scored her fourth goal of the NWSL season. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

Sky Blue FC ended their 2018 season on top earning their first win of the year thanks to a Carli Lloyd goal in the 74th minute to beat the Orlando Pride 1-0 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Sky Blue entered Saturday’s match after already playing twice this past week – first tying the Washington Spirit on Sunday and then falling to the Red Stars 5-0 on Tuesday night. The Pride closed out their 2018 campaign at 8-10-6 overall and ended their last part of the year on a four-game losing streak.

Lloyd’s goal was the difference maker for the home team and her finish was her fourth of the season. Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made six saves on the afternoon and earned her second shutout this season. Sheridan’s six saves put her at 107 total saves this season, just one shy of Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe — who holds the record for the most saves in a single season.

The game kicked off with Sky Blue rookie forward Imani Dorsey finding herself in a dangerous position on the left side of the field in the seventh minute. Sky Blue forward Shea Groom slotted Dorsey in on the left side and Dorsey took a big touch in front of her and struck the ball with her left foot. Her shot hit off the bar and eventually was deflected by a Pride defender for a Sky Blue corner kick.

Dorsey finished the match with six shots and two key passes.

Sky Blue defender Erica Skroski came up big for her side minutes after, denying Alex Morgan a chance to give the Pride an early lead. Skroski tracked back and made a sliding, one-legged save to poke the ball away from Morgan who was inches away from the goal. Skroski finished the game with seven clearances, two tackles and one block.

In the 25th minute, Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux tried a backheel, cheeky finish, but Sheridan collected it to keep the score at 0-0.

One of Sheridan’s most impressive saves on the afternoon came just before halftime when Leroux was dancing through Sky Blue’s backline and looked like she was going to slip one right past Sheridan far post, but Sheridan pulled of a split and made a kick save to keep the game scoreless.

Sky Blue eventually got their biggest goal of the season in the 74th minute thanks to New Jersey native and captain Lloyd.

Groom slipped in Lloyd and with a one-time finish Lloyd finished near post to make it 1-0. Lloyd finished the match with six shots and one key pass. She also had the most touches on the day with 68.

The Pride kept Sky Blue on their heels as time ran out, but the home team was able to push through and finish the year on a high note. The Pride had a slight edge in possession with 55.8% to Sky Blue’s 44.2%.

This story will be updated

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