A rainy Saturday at Camping World Stadium saw Orlando Pride come up just short, falling 1-0 to the Chicago Red Stars on a weather-delayed evening. It was only the second home loss for the Pride (6-7-0, 18 points) this season.
“It was a little bit disappointing in the end to be honest. I was happy with the effort of the team. I thought we put in a good effort tonight; we kept going to the end,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “The last 10 minutes we kept going and going and credit to Chicago who held out. I thought at times [our] execution wasn’t as good as it should have been. I thought at times the tempo of how we played could have been better. I thought we started okay, but it dropped off. Other than that it was a tight game.”
For the second straight week, inclement weather halted play when a brief storm hit Central Florida in the 74th minute. After nearly an hour delay, play resumed, which stemmed a few opportunities for the Pride. Rookie Christina Burkenroad appeared to level the match in the 87th minute, but Orlando’s goal was called back due to offside.
Looking to again create late-game heroics, the Pride won a corner kick for their final play of the match, but the Red Stars were able to clear the ball away to hold onto the three points.
The visitors netted the only goal of the match in the 23rd minute after Taylor Comeau put in her first goal of the season. Comeau was setup on a pinpoint cross from Sofia Huerta on the right side, and strongly headed the ball into the back of the net.
Just before Comeau’s goal, Orlando’s Jasmyne Spencer had a great individual effort, dribbling through the defense for a shot in the box but Chicago goalkeeper Michelle Dalton dove to her right to grab it mid-air.
A minute later, Spencer looked to create on a similar play but a Red Stars defender was able to tackle the ball away on a well-timed effort inside the penalty area.
Playing in her second match of the season, Pride goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage finished the night with seven saves, including a breakaway stop in the 57th minute. Savage approached the Red Stars’ through ball perfectly, closing down Cara Walls’ solo effort created by a 2-on-1 for Chicago.
Starting at the center midfield position, reigning NWSL Player of the Week Kristen Edmonds sparked a wonderful chance off a set piece on the right side 10 minutes into the second half. Edmonds sent the ball forward quickly to Jamia Fields who shot up the flank. The forward’s cross was eventually dropped back to defender Cami Levin who tried to create for Sarah Hagen with a chip over the backline, but the ball was just beyond her reach.
Arin Gilliland kept the Pride off the board in the 65th minute with a last-ditch header save on the line, denying Kaylyn Kyle of her first goal of the season. After a great corner kick from Edmonds, Kyle had Dalton beat but the defender knocked the ball into the arms of her keeper just before it crossed the goal line.
The Pride will begin a two game road swing next week before the NWSL takes nearly a month hiatus due to the Olympics. On June 23 the Pride travel to face Seattle Reign FC at 10 p.m. ET, then remain on the road for a 6 p.m. ET matchup at Boston on July 31.
Orlando returns to Camping World Stadium on Friday, August 26 to host the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. ET.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: July 16, 2016
Venue: Camping World Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: Goals: 1 | 2 | F
Orlando Pride: Kaitlyn Savage; Cami Levin, Kaylyn Kyle, Toni Pressley, Sam Witteman; Becky Edwards (Dani Weatherholt 59’), Kristen Edmonds, Maddy Evans; Jasmyne Spencer, Sarah Hagen (Christina Burkenroad 68’), Jamia Fields (Leah Fortune 69’)
Substitutes Not Used: Megan Dorsey; Kim Reynolds; Allie Wisner, Sierra Lelii
Chicago Red Stars: Michelle Dalton; Arin Gilliland, Katie Naughton, Samantha Johnson, Casey Short; Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, Jen Hoy (Alyssa Mautz 72’), Taylor Comeau; Cara Walls (Courtney Raetzman 91+’), Sofia Huerta
Substitutes Not Used: Brianna Smallidge; Sarah Gordon; Rebekah Roller; Jannelle Flaws, Mary Luba