Sky Blue FC escaped the bottom of the NWSL Challenge Cup standings in the most emphatic way possible. After going scoreless through their first two games, the team was able to break that dry spell twice in the first 45 minutes of their match against the Houston Dash
Less than 17 minutes into the first half, Paige Monaghan was able to get past Houston's defense to force a one-on-one opportunity against the keeper Carolyn Jane Campbell. Monaghan was too quick for the person trying to stop her, and was able to slot in the game's opening goal into an empty net.
But after that Sky Blue had a taste for scoring, they demanded more. That came a little less than 20 minutes of game time later when Naomi Kawasumi was able to take advantage of an errant clearance from Campbell, who had left her line to do so, and lobbed a shot from near midfield into yet another empty net to double her squad's lead.
Houston didn't exactly lay down in the second half and accept their fate down two goals. The pressure they brought in the final 45 did keep Sky Blue FC on their back heels for a good amount of the second half. Unfortunately for them, the efforts did not manifest into anything tangible, and they left the match scoreless.
As a result of how this game went, NC Courage officially clinched the top seed of the competition. Sky Blue FC joins four other teams in a five-way tie for second place.