HERRIMAN, Utah — Amy Rodriguez scored in the 41st minute and the Utah Royals defeated Sky Blue 1-0 on Saturday in a group stage match of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup tournament.
Rodriguez took a cross from Vero Boquete on a perfectly timed run and evaded three defenders for the goal at Zions Bank Stadium.
After scoring, Rodriguez pointed to her two sons in the stands. While the tournament is being played without fans, Rodriguez has been in quarantine with her family at home in Utah.
It was the first victory for new Royals coach Craig Harrington.
The Royals are playing without forward Christen Press, who opted out of the tournament. Sky Blue is missing fellow U.S. national team players Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh because of injuries.
The Royals opened the tournament with a 3-3 draw against Houston on Tuesday. Sky Blue (0-1-1) played to a scoreless draw against OL Reign in its opener.
The North Carolina Courage sit atop the tournament standings with two wins. The Royals moved into second. Results in the group stage will determine seeding for the knockout round.
Kristie Mewis and Shea Goom scored to give the Houston Dash a 2-0 victory over OL Reign on Saturday night in the group stage of the NWSL’s Challenge Cup tournament.
The Dash now have five goals, most of any team in the tournament.
Mewis scored in the 12th minute, taking a sweet back heel pass from Shea Groom and blasting the ball from just inside the penalty area.
Groom scored on a precisely executed leaping header in the 54th minute. It was her second goal of the tournament.
Rachel Daly scored two goals in Houston's opening game, a 3-3 draw with the Utah Royals. She was listed as questionable for the game against the Reign, but started.
The Reign were coming off a scoreless draw against Sky Blue in its opening game. They have yet to score a goal in the tournament.
Former Reign coach Vlatko Andonovski, who now coaches the U.S. women's national team, was at Zions Back Stadium for the game.
The Royals defeated Sky Blue 1-0 earlier Saturday on Amy Rodriguez’s goal late in the first half.