Azzurri Sky Blue: My Site News

Sunday, May 27
SCSA 'A' division runner-up

Sky Blue wrapped up the spring season with a 2-2 draw with EFC Premier last Saturday in Wichita.

With the league title on the line, Sky Blue needed a win, but fell behind 2-0 at halftime. Sky Blue, however, dominated the second half, getting goals from Lydia Freeberg and Maddie Boman. It wasn't enough to win the game and surpass EFC, but EFC did not lose one league game in the fall or spring. They tied three games, two to Sky Blue.

The tie gave Sky Blue (5-1-2) 17 points in the league standings, one point behind EFC.



Sunday, May 13
First comfortable, then crazy

Sky Blue played Sunday's games in Wichita with just seven players, and the girls made their mothers (and fathers, grandparents, siblings, etc.) proud with two tough performances.

Sky Blue first took on the Wichita Cheetahs, who performed well at the Governor's Cup. Sky Blue had more possession and shots, but mustered just one goal when Harlie Wilson took a pass from Josie Hallier late in the first half and slotted a shot into the goal for the only tally of the match. Maddie Boman was a pest to the Cheetahs all game, while the defense of Lydia Freeberg, Aftyn Chapman and Kayla Morris (along with Maddie) helped the team notch its second clean sheet of the season. Maguire Estill was solid in goal with four saves.

The second game saw the Red Hots take a 2-0 halftime lead. The girls seemed exhausted, and the two-goal deficit seemed to be too much of a mountain to overcome. Sheer nonsense, though. Harlie wriggled through the Red Hot defense early in the second half and blasted a shot into the goal. Then with less than 10 minutes left, Josie danced and weaved through the defense and tied the game. She nearly put Sky Blue ahead minutes later with a shot off the post.

Then with less than two minutes left, Maguire punted the ball long and it bounced past the Red Hots' defense. Josie, living up to her "La Gata" nickname, sneaked behind the defense, collected the ball at the top of the penalty box, and smashed a shot into the goal.

Aftyn had one of her best performances of the season, playing solid at defense in the second half and starting some counterattacks, while Maddie again was like Johnny Cash. She was everywhere, man.



Sunday, May 6
Third place at Governor's Cup

Sky Blue dominated two teams and then went against two of the top teams from Johnson County. The result was a place in the semifinals and a third-place finish in the top division of the Governor's Cup in Topeka.

The weekend started on a muggy late morning against the Topeka Crush, which is one of the top teams in the third premier division of Johnson County's Heartland Association. Despite dominating the game, Sky Blue didn't break through until "La Gata" Josie Hallier took a pass, dribbled alone on goal and scored with about 15 minutes left. Aftyn Chapman and Lydia Kimble added late goals before the Crush found a way past the wall of a defense, or defenders Maddie Boman and Lydia Freeberg, plus goalkeeper Maguire Estill.

As the temperature heated up in the afternoon, Sky Blue would roll by the Little Apple Fusion 12-0. Josie and Kimble "Fire" scored a pair of first half goals before the floodgates opened in the second half. "Hat Trick" Harlie Wilson tallied three times, while Freeberg, Maddie, Maguire, Kayla Morris and Ashly Rios added second-half goals.

Sky Blue then took on the KC Legends early, early, early Sunday morning. Freeberg's late first-half strike made it a 2-1 game at the half, but Sky Blue never found an offensive rhythm and fell 4-1.

Good news awaited about 30 minutes later when the team was informed that, despite not winning the group, they would play in the semifinals as the wild card.

Worn and weary from three games and with just three subs, Sky Blue fell in the semis 7-1. Aftyn had the goal, which briefly made it a 3-1 game. It was still just 4-1 with 15 minutes when the exhausted girls finished the game on fumes.

Great weekend for the girls!



Sunday, April 22
Two wins and a loss to one player

Sky Blue played three spirited games at the Mason Wedel Memorial Tournament this weekend in Hutchinson, and I can't imagine a weekend being anymore bittersweet.

The weekend started with a 7-4 loss to the Sidekicks, a team that had one player score all but one goal. Sky Blue trailed 2-0 at halftime after squandering a few chances. Josie Hallier got Sky Blue on the board early in the second half, and Ashly Rios got the team closer. Down 6-2, Sky Blue made it 6-4 before a late goal helped the Sidekicks win.

The girls, getting one hour of rest, had to play EFC next. Josie scored in the first minute and she added a second one. Harlie Wilson just missed a hat trick, and Maddie Boman scored one of the goals on the year with a clever long solo run with the ball before blasting a shot into the goal. Lydia Freeberg also scored, as did Ashly. Aftyn Chapman and Maguire Estill played well in goal.

Sky Blue then had to make up two goals Sunday morning against McPherson. Sky Blue controlled possession and had many more chances to score. McPherson led 1-0 at halftime, but about eight minutes from the end, Harlie tied it after a wonderful assist from Aftyn. Then, three minutes to the end, Josie wriggled her way around three defenders and poked the winning shot into the goal. Maguire played her best game in goal of the season.

But it wasn't enough, as Sky Blue finished one goal allowed behind McPherson to go to the finals.



Saturday, April 14
Brilliance, hat tricks and a PK save

Sky Blue improved to 3-0 on the season with a pair of convincing victories Saturday in Wichita.

The girls opened the day with a game against the Shocks, a team that tied EFC, which has not lost a game at the U9 level. First-half goals from Ashly Rios and Josie "La Gata" Hallier helped Sky Blue race to a 2-0 lead. The girls dominated the half but only managed a 2-1 lead. Maddie Boman spent a lonely time in the second halfin goal as Sky Blue outscored the Shocks 5-0 en route to a 7-1 win. Josie added three more goals, Lydia Freeberg buried a free kick just outside the box, and Harlie Wilson, playing without cleats, wrapped up the scoring in the final minutes.

Normally, the second game of the day is when Sky Blue plays worse, and at times, the girls did look lethargic. But Josie scored two early goals and Harlie added one for an early 3-0 lead. United got back in it with two goals, and then came the biggest play in the game. A foul called against Sky Blue in the penalty box gave United a penalty kick. But Maguire Estill made a tremendous save, one of the eight she had in the half.

Sky Blue dominated the second half, with Josie scoring two more, "Hat Trick" Harlie making a return with two goals, giving her another hat trick, and Ashly added a goal.

Maddie played excellent in goal, making four saves. Also some great play from Aftyn Chapman, Kayla Morris and Lydia Kimble set up goals in both games.

It's tournament time for Sky Blue next week in Hutchinson!



Sunday, April 8
Rain, then raining goals

Club Azzurrl Sky Blue has waited impatiently for the season to start, as they were the last team in the league to open the spring. The team had to wait even longer as Saturday's morning's game vs. last year's 'A' Division champ EFC was rained out.

The afternoon cleared up, but the rain continued in the form of Sky Blue goals as they scored nine. Kayla Morris opened the scoring, and "Hat Trick" Harlie Wilson had two by halftime as Sky Blue opened a 5-3 lead. Josie "La Gata" Hallier had goals in each half, and Ashly Rios also had a pair of goals. Aftyn Chapman's long-range strike wrapped up the scoring late in the game.

Maguire Estill played the first half in goal, and once she realized it was OK to breathe when she had the ball, she was fine with five saves. Kayla played extended minutes in goal for the first time in the second have and recorded three saves.

Once again, Lydia Freeberg's defense wasn't overlooked!