Early Goal from FW Diana Matheson, Late Sky Blue FC Own-Goal Hand the Utah Side the 2-1 Victory;
Gunnhildur Jonsdottir Registers Two Assists at Yurcak Field to Lead URFC to First Road Win
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Saturday, June 2, 2018) – Utah Royals FC (3-2-5, 14 points) won their first road match in club history as it downed Sky Blue FC 2-0 at Yurcak Field. An early goal from FW Diana Matheson in the 3rd minute opened up the match early, while a late own-goal from Sky Blue FC handed the Utah side the victory.
Just three minutes into the match, MF Gunny Jonsdottir received the ball on the far side of the attacking third and crossed the ball in to the diving feet of FW Diana Matheson within the six-yard box. Looking much like the Gunny goal in the club’s inaugural game at Orlando City Stadium, Matheson’s diving volley gave the Utah side their first goal in New Jersey.
The lead was short-lived however, with Blue FC forward Shea Groom finding the back of net in the 10th minute by getting on the end of a cross from FW Katelyn Johnson. GK Nicole Barnhart – who registered her first start on the season – read the shot, but was unable to get a handon it, making it 1-1 for a majority of the match. Though Barnhart did not register the desired clean-sheet, she did make two big saves in the box.
Near the end of the match, Jonsdottir again received the ball on the far-side wing, taking a touch before crossing a long ball into the box in the 85th minute. A set of streaking strikers – FWs Katie Stengel and Elise Thorsnes – raced to meet the cross, but not before Blue FC defender Mandy Freeman deflected the ball into the net to solidify the scoreline.
UP NEXT: URFC now gets a week-long break as the FIFA window begins, meaning the USWNT and international stars will each head out to represent “Club and Country.” You can catch some of the action at home, with Team USA playing against China PR at Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday, June 7, at 7:00 p.m. MT.
Following the FIFA play, Utah Royals FC will travel back to the east coast to take on the leading team in the NWSL table, N.C. Courage, at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, June 16. The match will be the second meeting between the clubs in URFC’s inaugural season.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
UTA: Diana Matheson (Gunny Jonsdottir), 3’ – A long-cross from MF Gunny Jonsdottir found the right foot of a diving Diana Matheson, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net within the six-yard box.
SBFC: Shea Groom (Katelyn Johnson), 10’ – Sky Blue FW Katelyn Johnson dribbled past her defender to the URFC end line and crossed it back to the penalty spot to a waiting Shea Groom. Taking a one-time shot, Groom bent the ball to the far-post netting.
UTA: Mandy Freeman (Own-Goal), 85’ – Jonsdottir again found herself crossing a long-ball from the far side into the box, attempting to find the feet of forwards Katie Stengel or Elise Thorsnes. Blue DF Mandy Freeman attempted to block the cross, but ultimately deflected ball into her own goal.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS
SBFC: Kailen Sheridan, 41’ – FW Katie Stengel took a rocket of a shot on a loose ball that was bouncing around on top of the moon. Sheridan was able to parry the ball to ground, but a lurking Katrina Gorry was quickly there for a rebound touch.
UTA: Nicole Barnhart, 45’ – New Jersey midfielder Janine Becky beat the Utah defensive line in a foot race, entering the edge of the box where she shot on the near-post. Reading it well, Barnhart pounced on the incoming opportunity.
SBFC: Kailen Sheridan, 62’ – After receiving a pass on top of the box, Katrina Gorry chipped the ball up to herself and volleyed the ball towards the upper 90 of the frame. A diving Sheridan barely got her hand on the shot, pushing the ball behind the end-line.
- There are now three players on URFC that have played every single minute for the club, including DF Rachel Corsie, MF Gunny Jonsdottir, and MF Desiree Scott.
- With the win, Royals FC earns first-ever road win.
- URFC still leads the league in fewest goals conceded, having conceded only eight goals.
- Nicole Barnhart registers her first start and 90-minute performance for the URFC club.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs Sky Blue FC
Date: June 2, 2018
Venue: Yurcak Field, Piscataway, NJ
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 62 degrees F
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 1 2
Sky Blue FC 1 0 1
UTA: Matheson (Jonsdottir), 3’
SBFC: Groom (Johnson), 10’
SBFC: Freeman (Own-Goal), 85’
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Nicole Barnhart, Brooke Elby, Rachel Corsie, Sydney Miramontez, Becca Moros, Desiree Scott, Gunny Jonsdottir, Katrina Gorry (Elise Thorsnes, 75’), Diana Matheson, Katie Stengel (Brittany Ratcliffe, 87’), Taylor Lytle (Lo’eau LaBonta, 66’)
Substitutes not used: EJ Proctor, Katie Bowen, Alexa Newfield, Erika Tymrak
Sky Blue FC (4-3-3): Kailen Sheridan, Amanda Frisbie (Dominique Richardson, 31), Rebekah Stott, Mandy Freeman, Christina Gibbons, Thaisa Moreno (Raquel Rodriguez, 62’), Janine Beckie, Sarah Killion, Shea Groom, Katie Johnson (Jennifer Hoy, 76’), Madison Tiernan
Substitutes not used: Micheala Abam, Imani Dorsey, Kaycee Gunion, McKenzie Meehan
Stats Summary: UTA / SBFC
Shots: 7 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 8
Fouls: 13 / 3
Offside: 5 / 4
SBFC: Madison Tiernan – 92’ (Caution)
Referee: Lorant Varga
Assistant Referees: Walter Heatherly, Mathew Osterhouse
Fourth Official: Szczepan Dziewa