Like the weather all day Saturday, the Pride were a bit messy at times. But in the end, they won 3-2 and gave the crowd what it wanted by taking all the points against the still winless Sky Blue FC.
Let’s do the usual and break down the roster to find our player of the match.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 6 — The rebounds were not kind to Harris Saturday night. I think she could have done a bit more to secure the ball that became the second goal, but overall she had a solid night in goal.
D, Poliana, 6 — She was a bit quiet at times in the match, as she didn’t venture forward all that often, but she did a great job by holding possession in tight spaces along the sideline. Her defense was decent enough, and she had a couple of well-timed blocks. She put a great ball in to Alex Morgan late in the game, who then created Marta’s chance on goal.
D, Monica, 5.5 — I’m putting partial blame on Monica for Sky Blue’s goals. Both plays could have been broken down by her early, but she was split by the attackers on the first and missed her tackle for the second. Besides these two moments, she had a solid match and a couple of good blocks.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5.5 — Shelina was missing in action on Sky Blue’s first goal, and then chose to leave her mark and move across the box, which put Savannah McCaskill wide open for the rebound. The second goal, once Monica missed her tackle, she could have stepped up a bit quicker and put the pressure on. Like Monica though, she had a solid game besides these two moments, and she also had a couple of great balls forward.
D, Carson Pickett, 6.5 — A solid 90 minutes from Carson, who had a lot of great balls forward, that would have produced results if it weren’t for the rough night by Chioma Ubogagu. Throughout the night, she did well in fighting for possession, and keeping the ball moving.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 6.5 — Like Carson, her effort and numbers would look a lot better if it weren’t for others’ rough night, but once again, she showed quality in looking at the attack and providing chances, and should most definitely have an assist on the night if Chi hit the wide open net from just a few yards out.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 4 — I can’t imagine it getting much rougher for Kennedy, who had a dismal first half. Missed tackles, turnovers, waiting on balls to arrive, the latter of which led to the first goal by Sky Blue. She improved, as there was really only one direction for her to go, but it remained a night that she will want to forget.
MF, Christine Nairn, 7.5 — I thought Nairn had an excellent night. She was all over the field and getting the ball into just the right spot most of the time. You could put the first goal partially on her, but I disagree with that assessment. In her field of view, she had an onrushing attacker which kept her on the outside. She was instrumental in the 15-pass build-up for the Pride’s first goal, and blasted the ball to Sydney Leroux for the second goal as well.
F, Sydney Leroux, 8 (PotM) — If Syd only wants to score braces, I guess I can live with that. Like the 5-2 win over Chicago, this was a match that could have gotten out of hand, but Syd provided the needed spark at just the right times to keep the Pride in it. She possibly could have ended with a hat trick if she would have gotten a better touch on the ball a few minutes before scoring her second goal.
F, Alex Morgan, 7 — Once again, Morgan comes away with not much on paper except for an assist. She did play a big part in the second goal as well when she had a nice layoff to Nairn and she continued to show off her excellent vision in helping others with their chances. If Marta buries the ball into the net in the 78th minute, that would have been another assist from Alex. And her brilliant ball to send van Egmond and Ubogagu on a two-on-one should also have resulted in a goal.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 4.5 — Chi put an amazing ball into the box for Syd’s first goal in the second minute. Unfortunately for her, and the rest of the Pride, it was all downhill from there for Chi. Time after time, she would get a great ball from midfield and put one extra touch on it inside the box, and that last touch was always a bit too hard. Every ball for the rest of the match would die at her feet, including a wide open goal (set up nicely by Alex and Emily) in the 33rd minute.
F, Rachel Hill (60’), 7.5 — Rachel’s impact on the right side of the field is always mentioned, and it still can’t be talked about enough. She once again showed her quick-fire instincts and it clearly got into the heads of the Sky Blue defense. Her effort with the header in the 83rd minute was all that was needed to keep all the points at home.
MF, Dani Weatherholt (60’), 7 — Dani and Rachel were the one-two punch that were needed to start the spark, and Dani had a great half hour of play. Giving the rest of the team an hour head start, she still ended up leading in tackles, and was part of the play that ended with the Rachel Hill header.
MF, Marta, (73’) 7.5 — If Dani and Rachel were the spark, Marta was the tanker full of gasoline. The only misstep on a great 20 minutes of play was her shot that went directly to Sheridan for what should have been a goal. Even with that, the ball bounced back and she played it to Morgan for a chance. I can’t wait to get her back for a full 90.
There you have it folks. Vote below and give me your perspective on the match!
Who was your Pride player of the match in Orlando’s 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC?
This poll is closed
Other (comment below)