Orlando Pride rallied from a goal down on Sunday night, to draw Sky Blue FC 2-2 at Orlando City Stadium. Forward Marta added her fourth goal of the season and midfielder Dani Weatherholt scored her second to split the points.
"We knew Sky Blue and what they would come into this with, they'd come here with a point to prove. Their players have dug in all season and made life really difficult for teams, they should've won games earlier in the season and we knew how difficult it was going to be,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “I think today's game is probably a snapshot of our season to be perfectly honest. We had more than enough possession to win the game, we had certainly more than enough chances to win the game, but we hit the woodwork, maybe three or four times. We dominated large parts of the game, but we just don't put the game away.”
Though the Pride came inches from taking the lead in the 42nd minute after Marta’s set piece blasted off the bar and Weatherholt’s follow-up was saved, the two sides entered the halftime scoreless. Marta, however, was able to put the Pride ahead in the 51st minute, finding the rebound on a Weatherholt shot that hit the crossbar.
But the visitors answered with two goals, first on Imani Dorsey’s 53rd minute strike and six minutes later on Shea Groom’s headed effort.
Down 2-1, Weatherholt responded with a great individual effort to score her second goal of the season. Despite being taken down at the top of the box, Camila was able to slip a ball into the penalty area for the third-year Pride player who shrugged off her defenders and tested Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. Sheridan made the initial stop, but Weatherholt stuck with the ball, and easily headed in the rebound for the 2-2 final.
Seven minutes of stoppage time were later awarded, which provided an opportunity for the Pride to take the lead after Sky Blue midfielder Carli Lloyd was shown a straight red card on a handball in the box. Marta stepped to the spot looking for her second of the game, but Sheridan made a diving save to her left to preserve the draw.
In her return from international duty, Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris finished the match with four saves, including a 28th minute stonewalling on Dorsey and point blank stop on Lloyd in the 69th.
The Pride close out a three-game homestand on Saturday, Aug. 11 when Portland Thorns FC visit Central Florida. The match will be an important one for the playoff hunt, as the two teams are separated by just a point, with the Pride in third place and the Thorns in fourth.
Tickets for that match are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Sky Blue FC
Date: August 5, 2018
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Goals 1 2 F
Sky Blue FC (0-13-4) 0 2 2
Orlando (8-6-6) 0 2 2
ORL - Marta 51’
NJ - Imani Dorsey (Shea Groom) 53’
NJ - Shea Groom (Savannah McCaskill) 59’
ORL - Dani Weatherholt 73’
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Ali Krieger, Alanna Kennedy, Toni Pressley (Danica Evans 85’); Kristen Edmonds, Emily van Egmond, Dani Weatherholt, Christine Nairn (Camila 61’), Chioma Ubogagu; Rachel Hill (Alex Morgan 61’), Marta
Substitutes Not Used: Haley Kopmeyer; Monica, Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky
Sky Blue FC: Kailen Sheridan; Christina Gibbons, Mandy Freeman, Erica Skroski, Amanda Frisbie; Madison Tiernan (Carli Lloyd 56’), Raquel Rodriguez (Katlyn Johnson 83’), Sarah Killion ©, Imani Dorsey; Savannah McCaskill, Shea Groom (McKenzie Meehan 62’)
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Casey; Rebekah Stott, Amandine Pierre-Louis; Jen Hoy
Stats Summary: ORL / NJ
Possession: 54.3% / 45.7%
Shots: 21 / 9
Shots on Goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 12 / 1
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offsides: 3 / 2
ORL - Kristen Edmonds (Yellow Card) 32’
ORL - Camila (Yellow Card) 78’
ORL - Alanna Kennedy (Yellow Card) 90+2’
NJ - Carli Lloyd (Red Card) 90+5’
Referee: Luis Guardia
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Blas
Assistant Referee 2: Francesco Terranova
Fourth Official: Madzic Coric