Despite having been in camp for just a week, the Orlando Pride looked to be in mid-season form this afternoon in their first match of the preseason, defeating Stetson University, 9-0, at Sylvan Lake Park.
Eight different players found the back of the net for Tom Sermanni’s side, including Jasmyne Spencer, who scored twice in the second half. At least 22 different players saw the field for the Pride, with different starting lineups at the beginning of each half.
The scrimmage also marked the debut of a new system for the Pride, who played in a 3-5-2 throughout the match, a system that Sermanni said he had hardly worked on to this point in preseason camp.
“You have to be careful to not get carried away with preseason,” Sermanni said after the match. “But I was pleased with the tempo. I was pleased with the way that we played in a system that we really haven’t done anything on until yesterday. I was pleased with the way that we were able to mix up the teams and still have good continuity. And I was generally pleased with the way we went about doing our jobs on the field.”
The first-half lineup included: Ashlyn Harrisin goal, Laura Alleway, Ali Krieger, and Dani Weatherholt in a three-person back line, with midfielders Jamia Fields, Maddy Evans, Nickolette Driesse, Danica Evans, and Camila Pereira, and Chioma Ubogagu up top along with trialist Carol Rodrigues.
Rodrigues, a UCF product, opened the scoring for the Pride in the sixth minute, finishing a rebound off a shot by Camila. Ubogagu created her own opportunity about 20 minutes in, finishing off from the left side to make it a 2-0 game. After Danica Evans went down in the box in the 27th minute, Camila added a goal of her own, tucking away the ensuing penalty kick attempt.
The Pride went into the halftime break holding a 3-0 lead.
The second-half lineup featured: Aubrey Bledsoe in goal, Lorina White, Toni Pressley, and Cami Levin on defense, Christina Burkenroad, Jocelyn Blankenship, Kristen Edmonds, O'Brien, and Spencer in the middle, with Sarah Hagen, and Tabitha Tindell up top.
The goal parade continued early in the second half. After Burkenroad was taken down inside the penalty area, Edmonds converted from the spot for goal No. 4 in the 53rd minute. Two minutes later, Hagen buried a well-played cross into the box from Burkenroad, making it 5-0.
Tindell, another trialist with the club, made it 6-0 in the 63rd. Pressley used her head to get a loose ball across the line in the 67th after Cami Levin sent a ball forward into the box from a short corner. And then, 10 minutes apart in the 75th and 85th minutes, Spencer added her two goals. The first came on a rocket from outside of the penalty area, beating the goalkeeper to the far side. She then added the ninth goal of the day thanks to a Levin assist.
“It’s a good team performance today, and a good start to the preseason for sure,” defender Laura Alleway said.
The Pride will return to the training pitch on Monday before playing another closed-door friendly next Saturday, when they travel down I-4 to meet up with the University of South Florida.