In its second road match of its inaugural season, Orlando Pride continued to build chemistry but were held scoreless by host Chicago Red Stars in Sunday’s 1-0 result. Orlando (1-2-0, 3 points) controlled possession for much of the match, but had difficulty solving Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who made four saves to keep the clean sheet.
“It was a frustrating match, to be honest. I thought, particularly the first half, I thought we dominated large parts of play but didn’t get anything for it and probably didn’t create enough chances for the possession we had,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “I thought the effort from the players was fantastic, and they kept going right until the end, and almost gave ourselves a chance to equalize. But our execution at critical times sort of let us down.”
Reigning NWSL Rookie of the Year Danielle Colaprico found Christen Press in the 65th minute, giving the Red Stars a 1-0 advantage after a scoreless first half. Colaprico found Press on a free kick, with Press making a well-timed run behind the Pride defense and lifting a shot past goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
Jasmyne Spencer, who entered the match as a substitute in the 73rd minute, came inches from pulling the game level in stoppage time but her low shot from the right skidded just beyond the far post.
Harris had another impressive game between the pipes for the Pride, making five saves for the second-straight match including multiple key stops to keep her team within striking distance.
In one of Chicago’s few chances of the first half, Jen Hoy picked off a back pass from center back Laura Alleway and found Press streaking through the middle. Press fired a close shot on Harris but the goalkeeper was able to come off her line to deny her U.S. WNT teammate.
Harris made another two acrobatic stops in the second half, first parrying away a distance shot from Amanda DaCosta and later making a full-extension stop on a headed corner in the 79th minute.
In her first start of the season, forward Sarah Hagen used her height to win multiple aerial battles in the box - connecting on multiple crosses from Maddy Evans and Josée Bélanger - but Naeher was able to cover ground and make the stop on each of them.
The Pride return to Camping World Stadium, formally known as the Orlando Citrus Bowl, for their next match, hosting Seattle Reign FC at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 8.