“I thought we were, up until the first water break, I thought we were quite comfortable. I thought we were playing okay and generally in control of the game. I felt that if we would have scored at the stage we would have probably gone on and won the game,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “But frankly, after that, I thought we were very poor. I thought the energy was poor, I thought the effort was poor, and I thought the execution was poor. We really never got any stage of the game after that, to put Houston in any kind of pressure. So, I think given how we having been paying of late, I think it was a disappointing performance.”
After a record-setting 4-2 win in Texas against the Dash last weekend, the Pride came out of the gates holding possession and the majority of chances over the first half hour. Battling in 90-degree temperatures, the two teams took a hydration break near the 30-minute mark and the Dash took over the momentum from that point forward.
Houston jumped out to a one-goal advantage just seconds before the first half whistle after Carli Lloyd scored her first goal of the season, a distance shot that beat the best efforts of Aubrey Bledsoe.
The visitors built on their lead in the 62nd minute on a transition started by goalkeeper Jane Campbell’s clearance to Lloyd. The midfielder collected the ball in the middle, found Poliana on the right flank before crossing in to Rachel Daly who one-timed the ball past Bledsoe.
The Pride had its best chances to get on the board in the first half, with Steph Catley sending a long ball ahead to Jasmyne Spencer near the top of the 18-yard box. The ball missed the forward but fell to teammate Rachel Hill, who took an open shot but it went right to the gut of Campbell.
Minutes later, Catley again looked to set up a Pride goal, lofting a left-footed cross to Marta but her header was pushed off the bar by Campbell. Spencer crashed for the rebound but the rookie netminder recovered in time to collect the loose ball.
Catley came up with a Save of the Week contender in the 43rd minute, using her left foot to clear Poliana’s shot off the line and keep the game scoreless.
The match made National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) history as Pride became the first NWSL team to wear rainbow numbers on the back of their match jerseys. The game-worn kits will later be auctioned off by the Orlando City Foundation with proceeds going to charity. Both teams also wore black armbands during the match to honor former U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Tony DiCicco who passed away earlier this week.
The Pride see a quick turnaround before their next match, traveling to New Jersey for the second time this season to face Sky Blue FC on Wednesday evening. Orlando then returns home for its third game in a week, hosting Christen Press and the Chicago Red Stars at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening. The match will kickoff at 5 p.m. ET and will be the first of two doubleheaders for the Pride and the Club’s United Soccer League side, Orlando City B, which hosts FC Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m. the same night.
Tickets for the match can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash
Date: June 24, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Hot, 95 degrees
Goals 1 2 F
Orlando (3-4-3) 0 0 0
Houston (3-7-0) 1 1 2
HOU - Carli Lloyd (Poliana) 45+4’
HOU - Rachel Daly (Poliana) 62’
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Kristen Edmonds, Ali Krieger ©, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Monica (Maddy Evans 63’), Alanna Kennedy, Jasmyne Spencer (Danica Evans 77’), Marta, Camila; Rachel Hill (Jamia Fields 71’)
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Laura Alleway; Dani Weatherholt; Chioma Ubogagu
Houston Dash: Jane Campbell; Poliana, Amber Brooks, Janine Van Wyk, Cami Levin; Andressinha (Denise O’Sullivan 82’), Morgan Brian, Janine Beckie; Rachel Daly (Cami Privett 90+1’), Carli Lloyd, Kealia Ohai (Nichelle Prince 74’)
Substitutes Not Used: Lydia Williams; Cari Roccaro; Caity Heap; Sarah Hagen
Stats Summary: ORL / HOU
Possession: 51.9% / 48.1%
Shots: 14 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 7
Fouls: 12 / 13
Offside: 0 / 5
HOU - Janine van Wyk (Yellow Card) 43’
Referee: Marco Vega
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Gjovalin Bori
Fourth Official: Sammie Gillispie