Both teams were in search of a silver lining in a long, disappointing season. In the end it was Sky Blue that wanted and needed, it more as the New Jersey club battled on a home field for what some think could be the last time at Yurcak Field.
There were many chances for the Pride though, but as has become custom, the team couldn’t seal the deal. Let’s break the game down one last time and find our own silver linings and our Pride player of the match.
GK, Haley Kopmeyer, 5 — Kopmeyer wasn’t tested all that much, and that probably had more to do with Sky Blue’s chances bouncing off the crossbar a couple of times, but the chance came in the 73rd minute when Carli Lloyd put a powerful shot to her far left, but Haley couldn’t get there.
D, Ali Krieger, 5 — Ali tucked in quite a bit, and maybe that was part of the game plan, but Imani Dorsey took advantage of that early, and continued to do so throughout the match, creating several dangerous chances. She stayed on defense most of the day, rarely venturing forward.
D, Monica, 6 — Monica had a decent match with some bright moments in defending. The only serious gaffe came in the 19th minute when she and Shelina Zadorsky let Shea Groom through a tight spot that led to an attack. But with that small exception, she kept the middle line intact.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 6 — Adding on to what I said about Monica, Shelina kept the middle clogged fairly well. She also had a couple of moments in getting the ball forward that allowed the Pride to open up a bit.
D, Carson Pickett, 5.5 — Carson was a bit slow to get into the game, but by the half hour mark she settled in nicely, eventually adding to the attack on the left side. Having said that though, she wasn’t able to contribute as much as I would have liked.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5.5 — This was just a slightly above average performance for Dani to me. It seemed like her tenacious energy finally let out, and with that, her contributions were minimized. She had great chance at goal in the 18th minute, but the header was a bit soft and went directly to Kailen Sheridan.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 4.5 — Alanna had a couple of great moments in killing Sky Blue’s ambitions, but after watching the Carli Lloyd goal a couple of times, I’m going to put that one on her. She looks over and sees a wide open Carli, but chooses to join in on what was already becoming a 3-v-1. This allowed Groom to slot it right to one of the all time greats, who put the shot on frame, completely unchallenged.
MF, Christine Nairn, 6.5 (PotM) — Nairn was on full display Saturday, showing what she does best — getting the ball into the attack. My notes are riddled with “7 with a great ball forward.” She put a perfect ball onto Dani’s head, sprung Alex Morgan a couple of times, found Sydney Leroux on a corner, and put a rocket from a third of the way out just over the crossbar.
F, Sydney Leroux, 5 — Syd was good at getting into position a couple of times in the attack, but wasn’t able to come away with anything. Her movement off the ball seemed a bit slow at times, and with Ali staying back on defense most of the match, didn’t allow much threat on the right side for the first hour.
F, Alex Morgan, 6 — I thought her runs continued to be great, even with getting caught offside a couple of times. If Erica Skroski doesn’t have the awesome match she did, Alex comes away with two goals for sure.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 6 — Chi’s effort on the left side was what kept the Sky Blue defense honest. She sent in cross after cross, but the only downside was she could have built the attack a bit slower at times and waited for a sure target in the box. She made some good little passes to Morgan though, and it felt like she earned at least a half dozen corners.
F, Rachel Hill (62’), 5.5 — Rachel showed off some great skill in getting around her defender, but that final pass into the box wasn’t what we’ve seen in the past. It was a shame to see her flub the corner in the 68th minute, because she looked to be wide open after sneaking around a defender.
MF, Camila (83’), N/A — Camila’s contributions amounted to a foul in a dangerous area, and a shot way off target. Not much else to say about the Brazilian international still looking to find her groove.
MF, Emily van Egmond (83’), N/A — Emily almost had a chance to redeem the Pride in the 90th minute when Carson put a great ball into the box for her, but it stayed just a couple of inches out of van Egmond’s reach.
That’s it, folks. A disappointing season for sure, but the passion in the comments throughout the season, and other various social media outlets has been awesome to see. It has been an absolute blast to take my passion for the Pride to another level and share it here, so a big thanks goes out to Michael Citro for allowing me the chance. Also thanks to everyone that has chimed in and shared their perspective as well.
A quick reminder: Australia’s W-League will be starting up in a couple of months, and it will be streaming on ESPN+. If you need to get your fix, subscribe and watch some of your favorites play in the land down under. Alanna will be back with Sydney FC, and the way Perth Glory tweet about Rachel Hill, it seems like she could be heading back that way. I’ll keep an eye out for more.
And now, vote one last time in the 2018 season for your Pride player of the match!
Who was your Pride player of the match in the 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC?
This poll is closed
Other (comment below)