Death, taxes, and comebacks in Orlando.
After trailing for 85 minutes, the Orlando Pride came back late to score two goals in the final minutes of the match with a brace from Kristen Edmonds to defeat the Boston Breakers, 2-1, in front of an announced crowd of 5,842 at Camping World Stadium.
Edmonds tied the game up on a free kick just outside of the penalty area to even the score in the 90th minute following a foul that saw Boston’s Brooke Elby receive her second yellow card of the match, putting the Breakers down to 10 players. Edmonds' back post drive found the net to pull the Pride level.
The Pride thought they had a game-winner two minutes into stoppage time when Toni Pressley’s rocket from outside of the box was pushed aside and Dani Weatherholt was there to jump on the rebound but send it just wide across the face of goal. Weatherholt's ball was just beyond the reach of Jasmyne Spencer.
Moments later, Leah Fortune sent a long ball forward that Edmonds was able to win and chip over oncoming goalkeeper Jami Kranich for her third goal of the season, and the game-winner for the Pride, who were playing without six regular starters due to the Olympic call-ups.
The Pride picked up their sixth win of the season, surpassing the win total of the 2014 Houston Dash, which finished their expansion season with five victories.
"We expected a tough game and we got a tough game," Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said after the match. "We knew what Boston were going to do, and losing that early goal made life difficult for us and took away that confidence to be able to sit back and defend, and it kinda frustrated us a little bit."
Boston stunned the home crowd early with a goal hardly five minutes into the match when Kaitlyn Savage, who was signed by the club Wednesday to fill in for starter Ashlyn Harris (international duty), failed to smother a through-ball into the box. The ball squirted out of Savage's possession and Breakers forward Mollie Pathman grabbed the loose ball for an easy open-net goal.
The goal was Pathman’s first of the year, and just the fourth scored by a Breakers player in their 12 games this season.
Savage managed to save face in the 87th minute with a huge stop on U.S. international Stephanie McCaffrey to keep her side in the game before Edmonds’ game-tying free-kick strike.
The Pride struggled to create much offense through the first half. They managed to get off five shots, their most dangerous coming in the 39th minute when Edmonds rocketed a shot from outside of the box that clanked off the post and bounced away.
Orlando never truly turned it on until late in the game, when the pressure of a home loss to the worst team in the league started becoming more of a reality than just a nightmare. But the drive and effort to equalize, and eventually take the lead, late in the match proved this team’s determination to fight until the final whistle.
After colliding with Boston’s goalkeeper on her second goal, Edmonds suffered a "little bit of a concussion," according to Sermanni after the match, and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
The Pride have three more matches before the Olympic break starts next month, as they finish off a four-game homestand next week against the Chicago Red Stars at Camping World Stadium.