Orlando Pride returned to Camping World Stadium on Saturday night to host Sky Blue FC in the second leg of a home-and-home series. The two teams played just three days prior, seeing a 1-1 decision at Rutgers University, but the New Jersey-based team took the three points in the second match by a 2-1 margin.
“Obviously at halftime, we were quite happy. I thought the game was fairly even in the first half, and we got the opportunity and scored. We came out for the second half feeling quite confident and quite comfortable,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “Almost a carbon copy of the goal Sky Blue scored against us in mid-week, happened early in the second half despite our best efforts. We struggled to break them down from there. The last 10-15 minutes, the effort from the players was great.”
Kristen Edmonds, a New Jersey native, continued her strong season for the Pride, adding to her team-leading total with her sixth goal of the season in the 44th minute. After Alex Morgan was taken down 30 yards out, Edmonds took the set piece herself and curled a shot over Sky Blue’s five-player wall, into the upper 90 and well-beyond the reach of goalkeeper Caroline Casey.
The Pride carried a one-goal lead into the half for the second-straight game against the Sky Blue, but Sam Kerr spoiled that lead for the second time, putting in the equalizer in the 49th minute.
Kerr collected a ball outside the box and drove into the penalty area, beating a Pride defender then leveling the match.
Then, Maya Hayes gave Sky Blue the lead five minutes after with a second-effort attempt after Ashlyn Harris made the initial save on the one-on-one chance.
Looking to create the well-known Orlando City SC late-game magic, Sermanni introduced Laura Alleway in the 79th minute, pushing the 5-10 defender up the field. It was Alleway’s first game with the Pride since June 26, missing four matches for the Rio Olympics--then returning with a quad injury.
The Australian center back came close to scoring her first goal of the season in stoppage time, finding herself open on a cross from Morgan, but could not head the ball on target.
Alleway’s Matildas teammate Lisa De Vanna earned her first start of the season on Saturday night, playing 62 minutes before making way for Jamia Fields. The speedy forward caused havoc from the get-go, looking to setup Jasmyne Spencer just five minutes in but Spencer’s shot sailed high.
Orlando will have a week off next week due to international matches and returns to Camping World Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24, for its season finale against FC Kansas City.
Tickets for the 5 p.m. ET kickoff game can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Sky Blue FC
Date: September 10, 2016
Venue: Camping World Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Goals 1 2 F
Orlando (6-12-1) 1 0 1
Sky Blue FC (7-7-5) 0 2 2
ORL - Kristen Edmonds 44’
NJ - Sam Kerr 49’
NJ - Maya Hayes 54’
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris; Josée Bélanger (Toni Pressley 38’), Monica, Kaylyn Kyle Cami Levin; Lisa De Vanna (Jamia Fields 61’), Kristen Edmonds, Dani Weatherholt (Laura Alleway 79’), Jasmyne Spencer; Alex Morgan, Sarah Hagen
Substitutes Not Used: Kaitlyn Savage; Sam Witteman, Maddy Evans; Christina Burkenroad
Sky Blue FC: Caroline Casey; Erica Skroski, Kristin Grubka, Christie Rampone, Erin Simon; Sam Kerr, Sarah Killion, Raquel Rodriguez, Maya Hayes (Shawna Gordon 74’); Kelley O’Hara, Tasha Kai (CoCo Goodson 82’)
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Kelly Conheeney; Kim Decesare, Danielle Schulmann
Stats Summary: ORL / NJ
Shots: 9 / 8
Shots on Goal: 2 / 5
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls:10 / 11
Offside: 1 / 2
NJ - Kristin Grubka (Yellow Card - Tactical Foul) 51’
ORL - Toni Pressley (Yellow Card - Tactical Foul) 71’
NJ - Erin Simon (Yellow Card - Reckless Foul) 86’
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Nick Uranga
Assistant Referee 2: Alicia Messer
Fourth Official: Christina Unkel