With a whimper, the Pride’s season is over. Sure, there is one game left to play, but with the 3-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday night, the only objective that mattered is now out of reach. It’s time to get to it and find our Player of the Match.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 6.5 (PotM) — Once again, even after conceding three goals, I find myself looking at Harris as the player of the match, simply because when Sam Kerr scored her first, Chicago should have been up 3-0 at that point. She had a nice save against Alyssa Mautz in the 27th minute, and a great 1-v-1 save on Kerr in the 31st. As for the three goals that went in, I don’t see how Harris could have done more than what she did.
D, Kristen Edmonds, 4 — I’m putting Kristen just below average on the night. She was rarely a threat on the right side and she seemed to just let Vanessa DiBernardo have all that open space in the box for Chicago’s second goal.
D, Ali Krieger, 5 — Ali had some good defensive moments in what felt like an onslaught from Chicago. The only thing I would have like to have seen more of, is successful balls forward. I only counted a few on the night, and that’s something you can usually count on her for.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 4 — Shelina and Ali never really seemed to be in sync on Saturday night, and we can chalk that up to a lot of reasons, but I have to look at the moments when Shelina was called upon, and she was the last defender between Kerr and Harris that led to that first goal. She was easily turned around and left in the dust. I would have liked to have seen her commit there. And I think that sums up her night, there were times when the commitment to go in and get the ball were a bit lethargic.
D, Carson Pickett, 4.5 — Carson was a bit more of a threat on the left side compared to Edmonds on the right, but not much more. Often, she could get the ball to midfield but offensive play would soon die off. Her most dangerous ball was a free kick in the 50th that found Alanna Kennedy in the box, but Alyssa Naeher made the easy save.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 6 — Dani was hands down the best distributor on the night, and that goes for either team. She was quick to get the ball moving, and always had a target in mind. I wish it would have resulted in the ball going forward more, but the only two passes she didn’t complete were the two that were defended in the box.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 3.5 — Alanna’s woes continued in yet another match Saturday night, and it culminated when she haphazardly dribbled near the top of her own box, so Kerr decided to take it from her for a quick finish into the net to put the game out of reach. She actually lost the ball twice on that sequence — once by holding it too long and the second by being too casual with Kerr lurking. At least her involvement in set pieces returned.
MF, Camila, 4 — It was hit and miss for Camila most of the night, and the hits didn’t have the impact that the misses did. If she was given time, she would put a good ball forward, but when it came to having to make that quick decision, those are the ones that were less than successful.
F, Marta, 6 — I wanted to nitpick and point out that she only had four passes into the box, and that she spent a lot of time recycling the ball, but I think the larger picture is that she’s one of the few threats on the field — sometimes, the only threat on the field. The opposition knows that and has planned accordingly. With that being said, she still got off a few shots, created a chance (that notched her an assist), and out-touched every other Pride player.
F, Alex Morgan, 5.5 — It had been 20 days since the Pride had scored a goal — on July 14, when Alex scored. She and Marta finally got a play together in the 65th to take a tiny portion of the sting away. Short of that, she had a team low 51.5% passing, and just couldn’t connect with anyone for the majority of the match.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 4.5 — What I liked about Chi is she never stopped trying to put the ball in the box. The rest is what we’ve gotten used to watching, trying to go through defenders, missing open runs, etc. She was a part of the quick interplay with Dani, and Marta that sent the ball to Alex for the goal. Without that pass to Marta, the cross isn’t made.
F, Rachel Hill (54’), 5.5 — The energy of the team seemed to increase a bit when Hill came on, but short of that, there wasn’t much produced from the effort. A counter-attack in the 67th minute was nice, and it was fantastic hustle on her part, but the following cross into the box sailed out of bounds.
D, Monica (64’), 5 — When Monica came in, she shored up possession a little bit, but short of that, it was a hard one for me to take anything particular away from this one.
MF, Christine Nairn (71’), 4.5 — As Chicago settled in to finish the game out, there wasn’t much a player like Nairn can do in those situations. I’ve always loved her vision on finding the open attacker, but there was very little space at that point for the Pride to work in, and it showed with her passing at a low 62.5% rate.
That was our second to last game folks. For better or worse, we only get one more game after this to break it down and if you disagree, let me have it. So go for it, and vote below on who you thought was your Pride player of the match.
Who was your Pride player of the match in the 3-1 home loss to the Chicago Red Stars?
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