After a slight break for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Utah Royals FC was finally back in action against 8th place Sky Blue FC. This would be the second game of Lo’eau LaBonta’s two-game suspension. In addition to LaBonta’s absence, all of the international players at the World Cup are also still gone.
Going into this one, Utah knew it was a must-win. Sky Blue is winless so far this season, and Utah didn’t want to be their first. They started off string with a shots as early as the fourth minute. Defensively, Michelle Maemone came up huge early in this one with a big tackle in the 9th minute.
Amy Rodriguez, too, was impressive from the start. With a shot just wide called offsides in the 11th minute, it didn’t take long after that for her to break through. Just five minutes later, Rodriguez scored a beautiful goal to give Utah the lead. With that being her fifth goal in six games, she just wanted more.
Utah didn’t slow down after the first goal, though a slight delay in play was caused by an injury to Vero Boquete in the 23’, but Utah was able to continue. Boquete would have to sub out in the 34th minute, and Mallory Weber came on.
Weber almost instantly made an impact on this match, getting a pretty decent look in the 37th minute. For the remainder of the half, Sky Blue was pretty dominate, but thanks to the heroics of Nicole Barnhart, URFC went into the half up 1-0.
Sky Blue continued to dominate early in the second half with a few shots and even one shot that hit off the crossbar. It looked a little nervy for Utah for a while, but eventually things calmed down.
In the 62’ Michelle Maemone, who had a solid game, was subbed out for Sydney Miramontez.
The majority of the second half was incredibly back and forth from these two sides. Weber had a good run for Utah in the 71st minute, and Tymrak fired a few shots into Sky Blue keeper Didi Haracic.
In the 83rd minute? Utah made their third and final sub in this one taking off Mandy Laddish for Alexa Newfield.
Utah had a couple of good look in the last few minutes of the game, but still ended this one 1-0, improving to 5‑2‑1