Katie Bowen, Desiree Scott and Rachel Corsie hadn’t worn a Utah Royals FC uniform in nearly two months. They all were away with their respective national teams competing in the Women’s World Cup.
But on Friday, Bowen, Scott and Corsie donned their club jerseys again after recently returning from international duty. The trio talked about how excited they were to be back with the Royals after their World Cup dreams were cut short during the tournament.
But their return was spoiled Friday against Sky Blue FC. Utah came into the matchup with the opportunity not only to grab a league-leading six wins, but also to take its place atop the National Women’s Soccer League standings.
But the Royals couldn’t muster any offense on the road and gave up a stoppage-time goal, losing 1-0 to Sky Blue. The loss leaves Utah (5-4-2) with 17 points on the season, keeping it fifth in the NWSL standings.
The Royals have now failed to score a goal in three consecutive games and lost two in a row.
The Royals wasted a prime opportunity for a goal in the 28th minute. Amy Rodriguez, on a well-placed long ball from Amanda Laddish, ran through two Sky Blue defenders and had a good look at the goal. But her shot hit the left post and Gunnhildur Jonsdottir’s shot off the rebound was off target.
The Royals won both the possession and the passing-accuracy battles, but it was offensively where they couldn’t get much going. Utah tallied only nine shots to Sky Blue’s 16. While the Royals had only one shot on goal, Sky Blue mustered only two more. But the final one for Sky Blue proved to be the dagger.
In the 92nd minute, Sky Blue’s Sarah Killion picked up a loose ball and played it forward to Jennifer Hoy. One move to Hoy’s right was all it took to shake her defender and beat Royals keeper Nicole Barnhart.
Sky Blue (2-7-2) has now won two straight games.