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Reign FC and Sky Blue FC play to a draw at Red Bull Arena

Jodie Taylor scores, Shea Groom breaks a rib.

After two matches at home, Reign FC were back out on the road. The east coast swing started at Sky Blue FC and both sides were playing at a venue for the first time, Red Bull Arena. The home of the MLS side New York Red Bulls was the stage for Reign FC’s 17th match on the season, and the two sides traded goals within minutes of each other in the first half for a 1-1 draw.

The first half was fairly quiet until an unfortunate injury fell on Reign FC once again.

Around the 14th minute, forward Shea Groom went up for the ball and collided with Sky Blue FC’s Carli Lloyd. The collision dropped Groom and she was down for a considerable amount of time with an apparent injury to her ribs. She was replaced in the 19th minute by Ifeoma Onumonu.

The injury did cast a somber air on the field once play resumed, but the goals eventually came, starting in the 36th minute.

Sky Blue FC struck first when Kenie Wright sent a long ball over the top that Elizabeth Eddy collected two steps into the 18-yard box. This induced Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy to come out, perhaps ill-advised, as Eddy was able to chip it over Murphy to open the scoring.

Reign FC, however, responded quickly. In the 38th minute, Allie Long collected a pass from Onumonu and crossed it over to Jodie Taylor, who got her right foot on it and past Sky Blue’s Kailen Sheridan for her second goal on the season.

In the second half, Reign FC came out the gate swinging and had a multitude of shots that could have, perhaps should have, found the back of the net.

Jodie Taylor looked to get her second goal on the day, but her shot was off the post.

Then Rosie White had an opportunity right on Sky Blue’s door, but she couldn’t get a solid foot on it.

And quite possibly their best chance to get a second goal, Ifeoma Onumonu spun, fired but Sheridan made the game’s biggest save.

Regarding Groom’s injury in the first half, the ESPNEWS broadcast provided an update in the second half that Groom had sustained a broken rib. How long she will be out remains to be seen.

Despite all of the chances Reign FC had in the second half, they were unable to find the back of the net for a second time. Sky Blue FC was showing signs of a club that had played on Wednesday and didn’t pose much a threat on Reign FC’s goal.

The draw does put Reign FC at 27 points, equal with Utah Royals FC, but goal differential has Vlatko Andonovski’s squad just outside of the final playoff spot.

With seven matches left to go, there is no room for error, and they have their work cut out for the next one. Reign FC remain on the east coast, traveling down to Cary, North Carolina to take on the defending champs North Carolina Courage. Kickoff for that is scheduled for Saturday, August 24 with a 4 PM PST start time.

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