SANDY, Utah – (Saturday, July 4, 2020) – Utah Royals FC (1-0-1, 4 points) earned its first win of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret with a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC on Saturday morning.
Forward Amy Rodriguez scored the lone goal of the match thanks to a pin-point assist from midfielder Vero Boquete in the 41st minute. The win marked the first for Head Coach Craig Harrington with Utah Royals FC and as a head coach in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Royals FC started the match strong, taking command on offense, pestering Sky Blue FC’s defense, but it wasn’t until the 41st minute that the team was able to break through on goal. Sky Blue FC had possession of the ball, attempting to send a strong pass upfield, but it was forward Brittany Ratcliffe who was able to block the ball with her back, initiating a give and go with Rodriguez before handing off the ball to Boquete. Upon receiving the ball in the open field, Boquete slotted the ball through two defenders directly to the feet of Rodriguez who easily tapped the ball into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.
The second half saw URFC control the pace of the match to see out the 1-0 victory.
UP NEXT: Utah will now face OL Reign on Wednesday, July 8 with kickoff set for 10:30a MT from Zions Bank Stadium.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
UTA: Amy Rodriguez (Vero Boquete) 41st minute: After a tough recovery from Brittany Ratcliffe in the attacking half, Vero Boquete received the ball in open field, splitting two defenders with a pass to an oncoming Amy Rodriguez who was able to slot the ball in the bottom right corner to take the first lead of the match
- Rookie Kate Del Fava received her first URFC start after coming on as a substitute in the second match of the NWSL Challenge Cup.
- Michelle Maemone made her return to the starting lineup for the first time since June 16, 2019 when the team defeated Sky Blue 1-0.
- 2019 Utah Royals FC Golden Boot winner Amy Rodriguez registered her first goal of the 2020 season in the 41st minute. The goal was assisted by midfielder Vero Boquete, her second of the tournament.
- Coming on as a substitute in the 57th minute, Mallory Weber made her first appearance of the 2020 season.
- Arielle Ship made her first appearance for Utah Royals FC when she came on as a substitute in the 85th minute.
- Head Coach Craig Harrington earned his first win as a head coach in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Sky Blue FC
Date: July 4, 2020
Venue: Zions Bank Stadium; Herriman, Utah
Weather: Sunny and 85 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 0 1
Sky Blue FC 0 0 0
UTA: Amy Rodriguez (Vero Boquete) 41’
Utah Royals FC (3-5-2): Abby Smith; Elizabeth Ball, Rachel Corsie, Kate Del Fava; Michelle Maemone (Mallory Weber 66’), Lo’eau LaBonta, Vero Boquete, Diana Matheson (Gunny Jonsdottir 57’), Raisa Strom-Okimoto (Katie Bowen 46’); Brittany Ratcliffe (Tziarra King 66’), Amy Rodriguez (Arielle Ship 85’)
Subs not used: Nicole Barnhart, Melissa Lowder, Gaby Vincent, Holly Daugirda, Taylor Leach, Taylor Lytle, Madeline Nolf, Marissa Sheva, Chestley Strother,
Sky Blue FC: (4-3-3): Kailen Sheridan; Sabrina Flores (Erica Skroski 72’), Kaleigh Riehl (Estelle Johnson 68’), Gina Lewandowski, Midge Purce; Domi Richardson (Nicole Baxter 85’), Naho Kawasumi, Sarah Woldmoe; Paige Monaghan (Jennifer Cudjoe 46’), Evelyne Viens (Ifeoma Onumonu 46’), Elizabeth Eddy
Subs not used: DiDi Haracic, Amanda McGlynn, Megan Hinz, Cassidy Benintente, Imani Dorsey, Mandy Freeman, Chantelle Swaby, Kenie Wright, McCall Zerboni
Stats Summary: UTA / NJ
Shots: 14 / 3
Shots on Goal: 4 / 0
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 4 / 3
NJ: Midge Purce (caution) 8’
UTA: Kate Del Fava (caution) 46’
NJ: Jennifer Cudjoe (caution) 67’
UTA: Arielle Ship (caution) 90+4’
Referee: Katja Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Salma Perez, Walt Heatherly
4th Official: Karen Abt