Utah Royals FC suffered their third-consecutive loss this week after falling to the Orlando Pride, 2-1. Forward Amy Rodriguez opened the match early with a one-touch volley in the 8th minute, but a controversial penalty kick call allowed Pride forward Alex Morgan to convert on the equalizer before the half. Both teams had chances to score inside the box, but a game winning shot from midfielder Kristen Edmond in the 52nd proved to be the difference.
Entering the box for her second shot on frame, Rodriguez connected with a half-volley from teammate defender Rachel Corsie. Seeing Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris off her line, A-Rod coolly tapped the ball over the lurking keeper, scoring her second goal of the season. The team continued to dominate possession, passes, and offensive opportunities up until the PK call.
In the final minute of the first-half, midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir tugged on the jersey of Alanna Kennedy on an Orlando corner, resulting in a penalty kick for the Florida side – and quickly converted by USWNT striker Alex Morgan – tying the match with one goal each.
The last forty-five were far more even between the two teams, with Orlando firing 12 shots, and Utah responding with eight. Close-chances brought nearly 9,000 spectators to their feet at Rio Tinto Stadium, with forwards Christen Press and Amy Rodriguez finding “big chances” within the eighteen-yard box. The deciding moment of the match began when Kristen Edmonds intercepted a ball in Utah’s defensive third, taking a long-shot from outside the box and over the head of goalkeeper Abby Smith in the 52nd.
The match quickly got physical after Edmonds' goal, with Orlando tallying four yellow cards by the final whistle. Abby Smith also had to be escorted after getting flipped upside down while diving for a ball on an oncoming cross. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart subbed in late, making several big saves just minutes after replacing Smith.
Utah Royals FC continue their campaign at home, hosting the NC Courage at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday, July 20, at 8:00 p.m. MT. Utah is the only team to beat Carolina this year, and will need three points if they want to make a play-off run.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs Orlando Pride
Date: July 14, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Weather: Cloudy, 85 degrees F
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 0 1
Orlando Pride 1 1 2
UTA: Rodriguez, 8’
ORL: Morgan, 47’ (PK)
ORL: Edmonds, 52’
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Abby Smith (Nicole Barnhart, 72’), Katie Bowen, Sydney Miramontez, Rachel Corsie, Becca Moros, Desiree Scott, Gunny Jonsdottir, Lo’eau LaBonta, Diana Matheson (Katrina Gorry, 79’), Amy Rodriguez (Katie Stengel, 63’), Christen Press
Substitutes not used: Taylor Lytle, Erika Tymrak, Alexa Newfield, Brittany Ratcliffe
Orlando Pride (4-3-3): Ashlyn Harris, Shelina Zadorsky, Monica, Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley (Christine Nairn, 87’), Dani Weatherholt, Alanna Kennedy, Chioma Ubogagu (Camila, 79’), Kristen Edmonds, Rachel Hill, Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux, 62’)
Subs not used: Poliana, Haley Kopmeyer, Carson Pickett, Emily Van Egmond
Stats Summary: UTA / ORL
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 4
Fouls: 6 / 16
Offside: 7/ 4
ORL: Rachel Hill, 24’ (caution)
ORL: Alanna Kennedy, 68’ (caution)
ORL: Chioma Ubogagu, 75’ (caution)
ORL: Camila, 89’ (caution)
Center: Reyna Fonseca
First Assistant: Jennifer Garner
Second Official: Alicia Messer
Fourth: Brad Jensen