Orlando Pride Fall 1-0 to Western New York Flash Over the Weekend
By Space Coast Daily // June 13, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando Pride was defeated 1-0 by the Western New York Flash on Saturday night, despite a tough and gritty performance by the Club in Rochester.
“I think we started slowly. We know, playing against Western New York, they play at a very high tempo. It took us 10 or 15 minutes to get into the game. You’re hoping you come out [strong], but we didn’t and conceded a soft goal,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni.
“But I thought after that we really committed to the game and were probably a little bit unfortunate not to go into halftime tied.”
The home team jumped out to an early lead, with Makenzy Doniak sneaking a ball into the far post just four minutes into the match. Doniak was sent running on a throughball from Jessica McDonald into the right side of the box and was able to tuck the ball past Ashlyn Harris.
Doniak’s goal would prove to be the only goal of the match, but the Pride were knocking on the door throughout, with a number of opportunities on Flash rookie netminder Britt Eckerstrom.
Like their meeting just over a month ago in Orlando, the match was physical on both sides of the pitch with a total of 26 fouls called.
Twenty-one minutes into the match, Jasmyne Spencer appeared to level things at 1-1, but her goal was overturned after a lengthy discussion between the referees.
Kristen Edmonds sent a lofted ball into the box that Laura Alleway got a head on, sending it forward to a running Spencer who easily headed it into the net. The play caused a collision in the box, which prompted referees to discuss the play –eventually overturning the goal and calling for an offside.
Alleway had an opportunity of her own seven minutes earlier, after Spencer was taken down in the center of the pitch to draw a free kick. Australians Alleway and Steph Catley stood over the ball, with the center back electing to take the shot, forcing Eckerstrom into a fingertip save at the left upper 90.
In her first game back from international duty, Ashlyn Harris came up with five saves for the Pride, including a few big stops on the Flash’s speedy forwards.
McDonald found herself with opportunities on Harris in both the first and second half, but the goalkeeper was able to turn away the veteran forward on all occasions.
Spencer nearly netted a goal in the 37th minute, after Maddy Evans’ long-distance strike was bobbled by Eckerstrom in front of the goal. Spencer ran onto the free ball and slid a shot by the goalkeeper, but Alanna Kennedy was able to clear it away just before crossing the goal line.
Alex Morgan, who scored a highlight-reel game-winner in the previous meeting between the two clubs, tried to repeat the feat in the second half but her chip attempt over the goalkeeper sailed high of the crossbar.
The Pride will close out a four-game road trip on Saturday, June 18, when they travel to face the Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. The Club returns to Camping World Stadium with two matches the following week, first hosting the Houston Dash on June 23 followed by a June 26 meeting with Portland Thorns FC.
Tickets to all home matches can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.