The Orlando Pride (6-5-2 22 points) were defeated by the Carolina Courage (11-1-3 36 points) 3-0 at Orlando City Stadium in front of a crowd of 4,017 today. It is Orlando’s second loss in a row.
Carolina, in first place in the NWSL, scored a blistering 3 goals in 4 minutes, leaving the Pride stunned. The Pride were tried to hold their own as Carolina was super fast and powerful with their attack tandem of Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald, and Crystal Dunn kept pressing for the length of the match, keeping the Orlando back line busy.
” Frankly we’ve just been beaten by a team that was better than us, significantly better on the day. Probably in essentially all areas of the field. They were quicker to do things, they were dynamic, they were alert, they did soccer fundamental things better than we did,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. ” The thing about this league — apart from North Carolina, who are running away with it — there’s five or six teams right in the mix there. We need to ensure that we get back on an even keel, on a winning run, and put this game behind us.”
The Pride appeared to have an early lead when Carolina’s McDonald knocked a Marta corner kick into the Carolina goal, but the goal was waived off after Pride striker Alex Morgan was called for a foul after pushing Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper in the box.
In the 37th minute, the Courage’s Debinha took a ball chipped into the box by Crystal Dunn, and shot it in for a goal. Next, Marritt Methais knocked a shot into the Orlando goal, taking the score to 2-0.
Finally, Just a minute later, it was McDonald’s turn. Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni picked off a Krieger long ball and played it to O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan then threaded it down the middle to Dunn, who played the pass down the middle to McDonald, running in behind the Courage backline. McDonald bent it around a diving Harris and to the far post for her 40th career NWSL regular season goal.
The teams took this score into the half. Orlando would show signs of more life in the second half the game. Orlando played more aggressive and determined with each pass, each pass, each contended ball, each chase had more was played with more emphasis.
At one point, Orlando had a string of back to back corner kicks, taking the Courage from side to side, heading ball out, goalie Katelyn Rowland blocking shots. Orlando kept pushing, but could not score in the end.
Ali Krieger returned to duty after being out for injury and helped to solidify Orlando’s defense, but with only three days top prep for the match after the team’s loss on Wednesday, it just wasn’t enough.
Alex Morgan did check herself out of the game after feeling tightness in her calf. Coach Sermanni says that the staff will look into that.
The Pride return to action on Saturday, July 7, when they host the Washington Spirit at Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.