ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Entering Sunday night’s game at home, the Orlando Pride had gained points in 3 of the last 4 games played and need a win to pass Portland in the standings. Unfortunately the Pride couldn’t get the victory but the draw kept them in a dead heat with Portland, against whom the Pride play a key game on Friday. The winner will take over 3rd place in the standings with a few games left to play.
After an opening half where both teams combined to take two total shots on target, the Pride used increased pressure to gain the game’s first goal. Marta scored her 4th goal of the season after Dani Weatherholt’s shot hit the post and she beat the Sky Blue FC keeper on the rebound.
The lead was short-lived as Sky Blue scored two goals with in a few minutes of each other and it put the Pride under huge pressure not be the first team to lose a game to the win-less team from New Jersey. But all the pressure was relieved as Dani Weatherholt scored on a hustle play in the 73rd minute.
“I’ve said this before, but I would love 10 Dani Weatherholts out on the field and that’s what she’s been for us this season. She’s a person that’s really dragged our team along in games quite often. Whether that’s been a decisive tackle, a decisive run, a decisive goal like it was tonight, or whatever. She’s just been magnificent this year. As I’ve said, I need 10 players doing that. If we had 10 players doing that then I think we would be a little bit further up the table.”- Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni on Dani Weatherholt’s effort on Saturday night
After the Pride’s goal to tie the game, the team went on a full assault to attempt to take home the crucial 3 points at home. The Pride kept pressuring the Sky Blue keeper and by the end of the game, had 10 chances on target in the final 45 minutes and stoppage time.
In stoppage time, United States Women’s Midfielder and Sky Blue FC’s Carli Lloyd was given a red card due to a handball and the Pride was awarded a penetly shot. Unfortunately, Marta’s attempt was stopped and the game ended in the tie.
Orlando’s leading scorer Sydney Leroux was not available due to an illness and is questionable for the game on Friday with Portland.
Orlando – Marta 51’
Sky Blue – Imani Dorsey (Shea Groom) 53’
Sky Blue – Shea Groom (Savannah McCaskill) 59’
Orlando – Dani Weatherholt 73’
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org