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Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Player Grades and Player of the Match

How did the Pride rate in the 3-0 loss to the Courage?

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Pride held tight for an hour in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to North Carolina. However, as has been the case a lot this year, once they concede, they find it hard to stop the bleeding, and in 26 short minutes, Kristen Hamilton put together a hat trick. Time to break it down and select the player of the match!

Starters

GK, Haley Kopmeyer, 4.5 — I’m going to go ahead and put Kopmeyer just below average for the first time this season. Bad handling led to the first goal, the second was just perfectly placed, and although the third required a bit of heroics, I feel she could have gotten her hand on it as it sailed just to the side of her glove.

D, Erin Greening, 5 — Greening was busy — each game, she covers more and more ground, it seems — but almost the entire back line struggled with passing the ball, and she was no exception. When she did connect, though, it was usually a really good look forward. It’s tough to stop a player in the box, but if she and Dani Weatherholt had put just a bit of pressure on Hamilton before her second goal, it might not have happened.

D, Morgan Reid, 6 (PotM) — The only defender who did not struggle with distribution was Reid, as evidenced by her team-high 85% passing success rate. Week to week now, we’re seeing a steady performance from Reid. She is not afraid to creep forward from time to time and get involved in the attack, while also getting a few clearances and a block on the night.

D, Toni Pressley, 4.5 — A hard grade for me to give. On the one hand, Pressley had several clearances and blocks, as she put down multiple attacks. On the other hand, her 38.5% passing was abysmal and highlighted a large problem on the night — building possession from the back.

D, Carson Pickett, 5.5 — Pickett did a lot on the left side to free up her teammates when they were under pressure, and her shot on goal from a free kick nearly led to a goal on the rebound. The one thing that got me: Only two of Pickett’s passes went towards the middle of the final third. Everything else went up and down the sideline.

MF, Marisa Viggiano, 5.5 — 77.3% in passing, a chance created, and three tackles all add up to a decent enough night. She had a great through ball to Rachel Hill in the 33rd minute, and applied good pressure on defense. She’s still raw, but Viggiano’s involvement (38 touches in 71 minutes) is promising.

MF, Bridget Callahan, 5 — Callahan is at her best when she has the ball on her feet. She showed this in the 28th minute with a flick past McCall Zerboni, and then a quick juke around Denise O’Sullivan. Callahan’s struggles — getting on the same page with her teammates — are the Pride’s struggles at this point.

MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5 — Weatherholt worked hard from one side of the pitch to the other, but I think she really struggled to be part of building of play. No tackles, a couple of clearances, a block, and only a few of her forward passes connected.

F, Rachel Hill, 5.5 — When will it happen for Hill?! When?! The timing in the final third always seems a split second off time after time, and although she puts herself in a good position and she’s seen by her teammates, the ball is always just a bit off. A good passing rate of 73.9% and four tackles helped keep her above average.

F, Abby Elinsky, 6 — Last week it was a toss up between Elinsky and Reid for player of the match, and this week was no different, except maybe by a closer margin. Her touch was heavy at times, but Elinsky seemed to be involved in every play. She created a handful of turnovers and, in turn, was hard to dispossess. Earlier in the season I noted that Camila was the only player that was hard to knock off the ball, but now, she has company. With seven tackles, Elinsky was behind only Becca Moros (11) of the Utah Royals league-wide this week.

F, Chioma Ubogagu, 5 — Chi put in a few good balls in this one and again created decent pressure on defense. But among the starters, she had the least amount of passes at 14. I think that highlights a lot of the issues with Ubogagu linking to the rest of the offense. Her possessions often end with the ball dispossessed or kicked out of bounds.

Substitutes

MF, Joanna Boyles (71’), 5 — In 19 minutes of work, Boyles had an active shift, getting 24 touches and 17 passes. Unfortunately, half those passes didn’t find their target. She did have a really good look to Hill four minutes in, but until we get rid of the curse, those looks are no good. Good involvement though, and I’d like to echo a comment earlier in the week and say I’d like to see a full 90 out of Boyles again.

F, Danica Evans (71’), 5 — Evans picked up the rebound on a Carson Pickett free kick and nearly put it in herself, but a key block from Rachel Hill prevented a goal. If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I’m a fan of closing in on the player, especially a player like Jaelene Hinkle, and I feel like Evans gave her too much space in the 85th minute to put a cross right on the end of Hamilton’s foot. I did enjoy the fake-out flip throw, though. Evans took a bunch of space, then just tossed it in to Pressley, who was supposed to give it back for a quick cross, but the pass was off and it fizzled out.

F, Caitlin Farrell, (82’), N/A — The box score claims Farrell had seven touches, but I must have missed them, because there just wasn’t much there in the short time she was on to get a fair assessment. I know it’s rare, but I would have liked to have seen Farrell come on with the other two, or just shortly after.


Well, there you have it. Now we get to take a couple of weeks off, and take in the Women’s World Cup, and forget about our Pride problems for just a bit. Before we do that though, take a second and vote for your Pride player of the match!

Poll

Who was your Pride Player of the Match in the 3-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Morgan Reid
    (3 votes)
  • 23%
    Carson Pickett
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Marisa Viggiano
    (0 votes)
  • 23%
    Rachel Hill
    (3 votes)
  • 23%
    Abby Elinsky
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Other (comment below)
    (1 vote)
13 votes total Vote Now