Orlando Pride began an important stretch of July games with a 2-1 win over the Boston Breakers, as midfielder Kristen Edmonds scored two goals in the final four minutes to lift the Club to an invigorating win.
After Sunday’s victory, the Pride (6-6-0, 18 points) are now tied for fourth place with the Chicago Red Stars, setting up an important battle between the two teams next Saturday at Camping World Stadium.
“I think [the win] says a lot about the squad, not just about the team,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “I think what it says is we are a squad with depth, a squad that’s got players that are prepared to go in and do what we need to do to try and win games. [We’re] a squad that keeps going to the 90th minute.”
Just before stoppage time, Edmonds scored on a clinical free kick from the wing, bending the ball around Boston’s five-player wall and into the left side of the goal. The set piece was awarded after Brooke Elby fouled Jasmyne Spencer, earning her second yellow of the night and reducing the visitors to 10-players for injury time.
Then, the third-year veteran earned three points for the home club, running onto a pass from Leah Fortune and chipping Jami Kranich despite taking a hard hit from the goalkeeper. Fortune, who earned her first NWSL appearance in the match, sent Edmonds running with a one-timed volley off of Kranich’s goal kick which fell just outside of the 18.
“We expected a tough game and we got a tough game. We knew what Boston was going to do and losing that early goal made life difficult,” Sermanni added. “It gave Boston that little bit of confidence to be able to sit in and defend and frustrate us. I was delighted the way we kept going and kept going.”
Fortune came into the match in the 79th minute and nearly added the Pride’s second goal of the night on a late free kick, going over the wall but just missing the upper corner. The Brazilian-American also tried to setup Jasmyne Spencer on a ball across the goalmouth, but Spencer’s sliding attempt narrowly missed.
Forward Mollie Pathman scored Boston’s lone goal of the evening that, until the final three minutes, looked to be the difference in the match. Pathman jumped on a mishandled ball by goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage, who earned her first start after being signed by the Pride on Wednesday.
Despite the early goal, the Pride rebounded and put pressure on the Breakers defense, totaling a season-high 16 shots in the game.
Savage made three stops in her NWSL debut, including a tag-team effort with center back Toni Pressley to deny Stephanie McCaffrey in the 86th minute. With Savage between the pipes, Orlando featured a new-look backline as Kaylyn Kyle dropped down to join Pressley at center back, while Cami Levin and rookie Sam Witteman defended the outside.
Edmonds led the Pride with five shots, nearly equalizing in the first half but was kept out by the post.
Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff against the Red Stars will mark the second and final time the two teams play this season, as Chicago defeated the Pride 1-0 on May 1 at Toyota Park. With that win, the Red Stars currently hold the tie break on the Pride for the final playoff spot.
Tickets to all home matches can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Boston Breakers
Date: July 10, 2016
Venue: Camping World Stadium
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: Overcast, low 80s
Goals 1 | 2 | F
BOS - Mollie Pathman 5’
ORL - Kristen Edmonds 90’
ORL - Kristen Edmonds (Leah Fortune) 93+
Orlando Pride: Kaitlyn Savage; Cami Levin, Kaylyn Kyle, Toni Pressley, Sam Witteman; Becky Edwards (Christina Burkenroad 70’), Kristen Edmonds, Maddy Evans; Jasmyne Spencer, Sarah Hagen (Dani Weatherholt 70’), Jamia Fields (Leah Fortune 79’)
Substitutes Not Used: Megan Dorsey; Kim Reynolds; Allie Wisner, Sierra Lelii
Boston Breakers: Jami Kranich; Christen Westphal (Elise Krieghoff 34’), Julie King, Kassey Kallman, Brooke Elby; Angela Salem, Katie Schoepfer (Rachel Wood 54’), Louise Schillgard; Mollie Pathman, Eunice Beckmann (Brittany Ratcliffe 77’), Stephanie McCaffery
Substitutes Not Used: Libby Stout; Stephanie Verdoia, Kristie Mewis