The Orlando Pride took on the Houston Dash in a mid-week match in Orlando City Stadium. The Pride dominated the game for the most part until very late. However, once it got late, things got ugly, and the result was a 2-1 loss. Here are our five takeaways from the match.
Unbeaten Streak Ends
The Pride were trying to match a five-game unbeaten streak they had earlier in the season. Being back at home, going up 1-0, and dominating time of possession should have allowed them to do so. Instead, they will be looking to start a new unbeaten streak against the top of the table North Carolina Courage. Orlando would be looking to do well in that upcoming match regardless, but lost points at home to the Dash make it even more important.
Necessary Squad Rotation
Speaking of the upcoming match against North Carolina, it comes at the end of three games in eight days. That stretch started with the Pride’s win against the Washington Spirit last Saturday, continued last night and culminates this Saturday. As such, Tom Sermanni brought out a lineup that included Kristen Edmonds in the front three. It also meant that when the Pride were up 1-0, Sermanni subbed out Marta and Alex Morgan, though he did bring in Sydney Leroux for Edmonds. Even with Leroux and Rachel Hill in, there wasn’t enough offense for the Pride to come back after the Dash got their second goal.
Morgan bounced a penalty kick off the left post. Carson Pickett, Alanna Kennedy, Kristen Edmonds, Chioma Ubogagu, and Dani Weatherholt all had missed shots. Kennedy also had a header hit the post. What I’m trying to say is that the Pride should have been up 3-0 (or more) at the half, but only managed one goal. As such, starting in the 80th minute the Dash were able to steal all three points from the Pride.
Weird and Wild
The Pride dominated the time of possession for most of the match. They were up 1-0 for most of the match. Most of it. Then a series of unfortunate events started in the 80th minute of play. Kealia Ohai sent in a cross that accidently went over the outstretched arms of Ashlyn Harris, and into the net for the Dash’s first goal. A mere two minutes later, the ball hit Monica’s hand in the penalty box, though she was looking the other way. The result was a penalty kick that Sofia Huerta buried to give the Dash the lead for good.
It’s Just One Loss
As upsetting as a loss at home is, it is only one match. It doesn’t change the fact that the Pride are one of the best teams in the league. It doesn’t change the fact that the remainder of the schedule sets up nicely for the team, and it doesn’t change what happens next. Tom Sermanni will have the team ready for the next challenge against North Carolina, and this loss might make the team a little more hungry for a result.
There you have it, our five takeaways. Agree, disagree, think I forgot something? Let us know in the comments below. Oh wait! I did forget one thing. The attendance for the match was 3,215. I know it was a Wednesday night match, but that’s still inexcusable for this team. Perhaps a bigger crowd could have rallied the team, but I guess we won’t know unless more supporters turn out this weekend for the match against North Carolina.