MELBOURNE, FL -- The Orlando Pride played their first competitive match this afternoon, taking on Eastern Florida State College at Titan Sports Complex -- the home of Orlando City B. The young collegiate side gave the Pride very little trouble as Alex Morgan scored four goals and the NWSL side pummeled the school, 8-0.
The scoring started early in the third minute, whenwas taken down on the left side of the box. She slotted the ensuing penalty kick just inside the right post for the game's opening goal and the first goal in club history. It didn't take much longer for Morgan to add to her tally, as she took advantage of some poor defending by EFSC to score her second just eight minutes later.
From the opening kick, it was a tough game for the EFSC as the Pride pressured the Titans into turnovers before they could even complete two consecutive passes. The Pride had three golden chances ruled offside in the first 15 minutes.
In the 17th minute, Kristen Edmonds touched home the team's third goal after a beautiful pass across the box by Morgan. She matched Morgan with a brace just two minutes later.
The Pride kept the pressure on and Brazilian international Monica made it five in the 25th minute off a corner kick by English international Lianne Sanderson. Morgan completed her hat trick in the 37th minute, after Sarah Hagen sent the ball over the top of the defense for Morgan to run onto. The final goal of the first half came from a nice cross by Maddy Evans, putting the ball on Morgan's head for her fourth and the team's seventh. The Pride took an insurmountable 7-0 lead into the break.
The second half was a lot more subdued as the Pride's stars exited the game. Sanderson left the game at halftime and Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, and Toni Pressley exited within 10 minutes of the second half starting.
Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni took the win in stride. "It was a good first game for us," the veteran coach said following the game. "We've only been in camp for four days. So it was good to get out and have it be 11-v-11, have a better look at the players, have a little more cohesion, and it was an ideal first game for us."
The Pride have only been together for about four days prior to Saturday's game and will continue to form their team chemistry as they build toward the opening of their inaugural 2016 NWSL season on April 17.