After two straight shutout victories at home, Orlando Pride begins its longest road trip of the season when it travels to face the Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Friday’s match, a showdown of the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) two expansion teams, will be streamed live at orlando-pride.com/live and can be followed on Twitter through the Pride’s official account, @ORLPride.
The match is the second of four meetings between the two clubs, after the Pride came away with a record-setting 3-1 win over the Dash at the then-Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 23.
“We’ve continued to improve as the season has gone on, as have other teams. But we know, if you look at virtually every other game in this [season] so far, there’s been maybe two goals separating teams, at best. So we’re expecting a very difficult and a very tight game against a very good soccer playing side,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.
The Pride broke out for a 3-0 lead in that match, with the Club’s first-ever home goal coming off a Houston own goal after Alex Morgan’s shot deflected off Andressa and into the net. However, Orlando was able to put two more goals in with Lianne Sanderson making it 2-0 on a smart free kick and Morgan adding the final goal after connecting with Steph Catley. Andressa ended Ashlyn Harris’ bid for a shutout late, sending in a perfectly placed shot from distance that picked out the right side of the net for the 3-1 final.
In addition to being the Pride’s first win in Club history, it also set the NWSL attendance record for a single match as 23,403 fans packed the Citrus Bowl.
“I think that night, that game and that result was a very special night for us. We had a fantastic crowd behind us, so it’ll be hard to compare probably what we are going to come up against in Houston because they’ll obviously have the home field advantage and their crowd,” Sermanni added.
Two games later, the Pride have remained undefeated at home, winning two straight matches in Orlando. Most recently, the Pride defeated the Western New York Flash 1-0 last week after Morgan scored a highlight-reel goal in the 79th minute. Kristen Edmonds, who has started each match and played every minute thus far, set Morgan up with a great ball that the forward struck in-stride – chipping a shot over Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo from outside of the box.
Houston saw the same scoreline in its most recent match, but was on the opposite end of the fortunes. The Dash were shutout 1-0 by league-leader Washington Spirit after Joanna Lohman was able to beat Lydia Williams in the 39th minute. Williams, however, kept her club in the match with three big saves.
Following Friday’s match, the Pride stay on the road for three more games, next traveling to face reigning NWSL Champion FC Kansas City on Saturday, May 28. The Pride return to Camping World Stadium, formerly known as the Orlando Citrus Bowl, on June 23, when they host the Dash at 7:30 p.m. ET.