Despite holding possession for over 67 percent of the game, the Orlando Pride couldn’t finish.
Despite out-shooting Sky Blue FC, 11-10, the Orlando Pride couldn’t finish.
Despite getting an early goal in the 18th minute, the Orlando Pride couldn’t finish.
Jasmyne Spencer found the back of the net in the 18th minute, but the Pride gave up one goal just before halftime and another after the break as Sky Blue FC kept a perfect home record with a 2-1 win Saturday night. Sky Blue (4-3-1, 13 pts.) got goals from Sam Kerr and Maya Hayes in the win.
The loss meant the Pride (1-3-3, 6 pts.) are still searching for their first win on the road. Orlando remained just ahead of the Houston Dash in eighth in the NWSL by virtue of goal differential. Sky Blue, on the other hand, moved is level in points with second-place Chicago Red Stars but goal differential keeps the New Jersey side in third. Chicago and Seattle Reign FC both have a game in hand on Sky Blue as well.
It took just two minutes for Orlando to threaten as Spencer had a through-ball in the penalty area, but the pass in was a little wide and collected by Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
The Pride continued the pressure offensively as they dominated possession in the first five minutes of the game.
In the 15th minute, Sky Blue FC had their first real attack on goal after Australian international Kerr took a cross, but played the shot well over Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
The Pride’s offensive pressure paid off in the 18th minute when Camila found a sprinting Spencer in the box. Spencer, in stride, fired past Sheridan to put Orlando up 1-0.
Bledsoe, returning from a concussion, came up big, making three stops over a two-minute span. In the 26th minute, she pushed out an attempt off a Sky Blue cross. A minute later, she landed on another attempted off a cross in a crowded penalty area.
Orlando continued to press the attack, but had several balls play wide and out of play. Kristen Edmonds and Marta each made runs deep into the Sky Blue side, but both had their efforts either stopped or sail wide.
Sky Blue equalized in the 43rd minute when Daphne Corboz found Kerr striding down the left side. Kerr took the pass with one touch and buried it in the upper right side of the net to tie the game, 1-1.
In the first half, Orlando dominated possession, controlling the ball 63 percent of the half.
Jamia Fields had the first big chance to score for Orlando in the second half. In the 55th minute, Marta drove up the middle into the penalty area and found Fields on the left. Fields attempted a toe-poke past Sheridan, but the ball went just wide to the left.
Bledsoe was tested on a counter-attack from Hayes, but collected the shot in the 66th minute.
Orlando pressed the other way as a corner from Marta was headed just wide in the box. Steph Catley fired a bullet on target, but Sheridan fell on the attempt in the 67th minute. Alanna Kennedy also tested Sheridan in the 75th minute with a header, but Sheridan fell to scoop up the attempt.
Both teams went back and forth until the 82nd minute when Hayes drilled a shot from long-range past Bledsoe to give Sky Blue FC its first lead of the game, 2-1.
In injury time, Toni Pressley took a shot from nearly 40 yards out that sailed just over the crossbar. It was the last opportunity for the Pride.
Toni Pressley from diiiiistance nearly evens this one up! pic.twitter.com/tfDCKp0tGT— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) May 28, 2017
UP NEXT: Orlando will come back home after the two-game road swing to take on the Boston Breakers at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.