SOMERSET, N.J. (April 5, 2009) – Everything went right for Sky Blue FC’s Debut Celebration in Women’s Professional Soccer until Marta spoiled the party. The Brazilian sensation Marta connected twice in a two-minute span late in the first half to lead the Los Angeles Sol to a 2-0 victory at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ.
Besides the score line, the day was a success for Sky Blue FC, which debuted in front of 6,053 fans – a sell-out. The NJ/NY WPS franchise concludes its two-game season-opening stand at TD Bank Ballpark next Saturday when it hosts FC Gold Pride of California at 7:45 p.m.
Sky Blue FC had its chances in the match but Sol goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who serves as a an assistant coach at nearby Rutgers University, made one decisive save in each half to claim the shutout. In the 31st minute, the Canadian keeper dove to parry away a header by Jen Buczkowski off a corner kick. In the 85th minute, with Sky Blue FC pressing, Kacey White sent in a corner kick the fell to Sarah Walsh in front but LeBlanc made the save of the game stuffing Walsh before Anita Asante fired the rebound over the bar.
Marta’s effort came in the closing minutes of the first half not long after Sky Blue FC captain and defensive leader Christie Rampone left the game with a strained hamstring in the 27th minute. In the 42nd minute, Marta took advantage of a giveaway and split two defenders before slotting a shot under Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jenni Branam.
In the 44th minute, Han Duan set up the second goal as she carried the ball up the left side before serving a perfect cross for Marta to stuff home from close range.
Tickets are available for Saturday’s match against FC Gold Pride at TD Bank Ballpark. Call 888-SBFC-TIX or visit www.SkyBlueFC.com for the latest ticket specials.