December 21, 2016
THE YEAR'S BEST -- NO. 10
The third time is no charm for Sky Blue, which falls short of reaching the playoffs again
Despite some new blood this season in the form of of a new coach, Christy Holly and the likes Costa Rican international midfielder Raquel Rodriguez, Sky Blue FC finished out of the National Women's Soccer League money for the third consecutive year.
|Australian international Sam Kerr led Sky Blue in scoring.
Photo: Jose L. Argueta, ISI Photos/Courtesy Sky Blue
Sky BLue completed its season with a 3-1 home loss to the Portland Thorns Sept. 26 -- Northport, N.Y. native and U.S. international Allie Long scored twice -- en route to a 7-8-5 record (26 points) and a seventh-place standing among 10 teams. The top four teams reached the playoffs.
In 2015, the club finished in eighth out of nine teams with a 5-8-7 mark and 22 points.
“Obviously, this is not how we envisioned our season ending,” Holly said. “However, this season has been a huge stepping stone for our club and has us moving in the right direction. We are very fortunate that every player on our team is an excellent representative of Sky Blue FC, and we could not be any more excited about next season.”
Despite the disappointing finish, there were a number of bright spots:
* Midfielder Sarah Killion was selected as team MVP. Killion, whom Sky Blue selected as the second overall pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft, started all 18 games in which she appeared, accumulating 1,620 minutes. She registered three goals and one assist and was consistent in setting up scoring plays while holding down her defensive responsibilities.
* Australian international Sam Kerr, who is filling the net for Perth Glory while on loan to the W-League side in her native country, led the team with five goals in six starts over nine matches and 616 minutes.
* Ageless and long-time U.S. international Christie Rampone, who turned 41 midway through the season, was chosen as the defender of the year and defender Kristin Grubka was picked as the most improved player.
* Rodriguez was chosen as the NWSL rookie of the year. She scored a goal and assisted on another while logging 1,461 minutes over 17 starts and 18 appearances.
“We are absolutely delighted for Rocky in being voted as the NWSL rookie of the year,” Holly said. “This award is great recognition for all of the hard work she has put forth over the past season. Not only is she a fantastic asset to our organization on the field, she is also a brilliant representative for Sky Blue FC off the field as well. She is a key component in a very strong core of players who will continue bringing this organization forward.”
Thursday: Story No. 9