For the second time in a row, the Orlando Pride has dropped a match away from home on a one-goal margin. Two of the U.S. Women's National team forwards, Alex Morgan for the Pride and Christen Press for the Red Stars, faced off in a match that saw a back-and-forth battle between their respective teams.
On a balmy 46-degree evening, both teams were tested early as Orlando worked to press high and force some early turnovers. The first real chance of the game came from Chicago when Press got in behind the defense and forced Ashlyn Harris into a tough save.
Throughout the rest of the first half, the teams continued to play between the boxes, but the chances inside of them were few and far between. Kristen Edmonds had a chance for the Pride from outside the box in the 16th minute, but Chicago goalie Alyssa Naeher was able to jump and grab it on its flight towards goal.
The second half saw more chances being created for both teams, and Orlando tried to come out of the gate with purpose. Edmonds sent a cross into the box, which was in turn headed further in by Maddy Evans. The ball found the head of Sarah Hagen who tried to put it low, but Naeher was there to smother it up and keep the game level.
Orlando tried to keep momentum going, but the game shifted more in favor of the Red Stars once they brought in Amanda Da Costa in the 52nd minute.
Not four minutes after coming on, Da Costa nearly put the first goal of the game in the back of the net, but once again Harris had to make a low, diving save to parry the ball away and out of play.
Harris once again put on a goalkeeping display for the Pride, but her counterpart and other USWNT goalkeeper Naeher had quite a game herself.
Orlando tried to push the ball forward to their captain Alex Morgan, but the Red Stars defense, including rookie Katie Naughton, was able to almost completely shut down the forward and frustrated her the entire night.
While Chicago were able to mostly shut down Orlando on the offensive end, they continued to push for a goal of their own, which they finally found in the 65th minute.
Off of a free kick in the midfield, Danielle Colaprico put a perfect ball over the top of the entire Pride defense to a waiting Press, who took one touch and blasted it past Harris, giving the Red Stars a 1-0 lead.
With the one-goal lead, Chicago started to control the game and sit back a bit more defensively, still hardly allowing the Pride strike force any room to move. Coach Tom Sermanni made some substitutions, bringing on Jasmyne Spencer and Sam Witteman in the last 15 minutes to try and give his team some extra attacking prowess.
Chicago was almost able to double its lead in the 78th minute but, once again, Orlando's player of the season so far, Harris, came up with another acrobatic save to keep the deficit at one.
Orlando's final and best chance came in the 90th minute, when Spencer got through on the right wing but pushed her effort wide and out of play.
The Pride returns to Camping World Stadium, the stadium formerly known as the Citrus Bowl, for its next match, hosting the Seattle Reign at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 8.