Press, Stengel lead Utah Royals FC to 3-1 win over Sky Blue FC
Christen Press scored her first goal for Utah Royals FC

Christen Press scored her first goal of the season as Utah Royals FC beat Sky Blue FC 3-1 on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Utah Royals FC are now 5-3-6 with 21 points and in fourth place in the NWSL standings. The loss drops Sky Blue FC to 0-10-3, the longest winless streak to start a season in NWSL history.

Press opened the scoring in the 7th minute, tapping in a Katrina Gorry cross that skipped through the box. It’s Press’ first goal of the 2018 season and her first career goal for any team other than the Chicago Red Stars.

Press made her 2018 season debut on Wednesday, playing all 90 minutes, before finding her first goal on Saturday night. Press now has 36 career regular season goals — fourth all-time in NWSL history — in 62 games.

After Press opened the scoring, Katie Stengel scored two goals in four minutes to give Utah a 3-0 lead. Her first came in the 25th minute, running onto the end of a through ball down the middle from Press.

Stengel started up top alongside Press as Amy Rodriguez had the night off. Her second goal came in the 28th minute, a header on a free kick from Gorry. A Carli Lloyd foul on Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir set up the free kick from about 30 yards out.

Stengel’s brace is the first in Utah Royals FC history. In 83 minutes, Stengel had three shots, two on goal and two chances created.

After her second goal, Stengel celebrated like royalty:

Lloyd got one back for the visitors in the second half, a bending shot as she fell that beat a diving Abby Smith into the upper left corner of the goal. Smith made a big kick save on Shea Groom just a moment earlier, but the ball stayed in play and eventually fell to Lloyd.

Sky Blue thought that had another in the 78th minute — a Savannah McCaskill goal on an assist from Lloyd, but McCaskill was ruled offside on the play.

Sam Johnson started at center back alongside Becky Sauerbrunn, her first minutes since joining Utah. Johnson made five clearances and three interceptions. Sauerbrunn had three clearances, four interceptions and one block.

Press played all 90 minutes again for Utah, finishing with four total shots, one on goal and one chance created.

Utah Royals FC will next head to Providence Park to take on the Thorns on Friday night. Sky Blue FC will host the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night.

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