ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Orlando Pride (3-3-3), fresh off a win against the Houston Dash (2-7-0) in Houston, attempted to but couldn’t quite double down during their at-home rematch before an audience of over 5,400 fans at Orlando City Stadium Saturday. The team came out ready to play, but after the first hydration break, they lost their momentum and never quite recovered it–and Houston took full advantage.
On the plus side, the Pride donned commemorative jerseys that featured their roster numbers filled in with the rainbow flag in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Pulse tragedy (June 12) and many players, including defenders Ali Krieger, Camila and Monica, as well as forwards Jasmyne Spencer and Marta, also wore rainbow wristbands.
THE FIRST HALF
One of the most epic moments in the first half came in the 26th minute when Marta attempted a shot on goal. The blocked kicked knocked the ball in midair, allowing for another opportunity to clench a point, but Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell hastily caught the ball in time.
Given the scorching temperature outside (93 degrees Fahrenheit), a hydration break was taken in the 29th minute.
In the 37th minute, Houston midfielder Carli Lloyd fell from Monica’s attempt to steal the ball. Upon her kick, Monica blocked, and when she retrieved the ball again to attempt a goal, Camila was right on her heels to slide and knock the ball out of bounds.
In the 42nd minute, Houston’s Andressinha passed to Poliana who, with a chest bump, knocked it very closely into the goal, but Orlando’s Steph Catley was able to kick it out of the goal just in time.
In the first additional minute of play, Houston defender Janine van Wyk collided with Orlando forward Rachel Hill as they simultaneously reached up to receive the ball. In the third additional minute, Houston put the first point on the board with Carli Lloyd scoring, assisted by defender Poliana.
The first half ended with a score of 1-0, Houston.
Houston showed no mercy in the second half. Forward Rachel Daly scored the next goal, assisted by Poliana, in the 62nd minute, widening the score to 2-0. The players had to take another hydration break in the 66th minute.
The defense was equally merciless. In the 71st minute, Marta fell due to Houston midfielder Amber Brooks, but Marta’s free kick landed left of the goal. Orlando defender Steph Catley got double-teamed by Daly and forward Janine Beckie.
Despite subbing out Spencer, Monica and Hill, the Pride still couldn’t gain traction in the second half, even with an additional four minutes of play, leaving the final score at 2-0.
The Pride acknowledged that the loss was due to poor play, despite the blistering 93-degree heat and dense humidity. “It was basically down to speed of ball movement, speed of support, and execution,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni explained during the post-game press conference concerning what the team needed in the second half. “We just didn’t do it well enough.”
“It was a poor performance, and we know that,” said Ali Krieger during the post-game press conference. “We need to come out with more energy…and more urgency out there.”
The Pride have a narrow recovery time, as they play against Sky Blue FC Wednesday, June 28. They return home next Saturday, July 1 to face the Chicago Red Stars.
Janine van Wyk – Yellow – 43′
Maddie Evans in for Monica – 62′
Jamia Fields in for Rachel Hill – 70′
Danica Evans in for Jasmyne Spencer – 76′
Nichelle Prince in for Kealia Ohai -73′
Denise O’Sullivan in for Andressinha – 81′
Cambria Privett in for Rachel Daly – 90′ (+1′)
Mellissa Thomas is the Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org