HOUSTON, TX – The Orlando Pride (2-3-2, 8 points) lost to the Houston Dash (3-1-2, 11 points) on Friday night, dropping a 5-0 decision at PNC Stadium.
The Dash were led by Nichelle Prince (with three goals), and contributions by Rachel Day and Michelle Alozie.
“This is a tough one to talk about because I thought we had good energy to start the game.” Said Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell. “It was a little bit methodical both ways, I think both teams were feeling each other out. When they scored, I don’t think our response was good enough.”
Orlando made some changes to their usual line ups.
Celia (illness) and Carrie Lawrence (ribs) were omitted from the team that traveled to Texas entirely. Courtney Petersen made the trip, but started off the bench. Because of this, the Orlando back line was shifted to Kerry Abello, Megan Montefusco, Toni Pressley, and Gunny Jonsdottir. The Midfield and Forward positions were as normal.
Houston dominated from start to finish. Orlando’s spacing was off, giving the Dash way too much area to play in. Add turnovers and poor tracking and it was just a bad night.
The first goal, scored by Prince, was in the 27th minute, when she managed to get behind the Pride line down the right flank, able to control it just long enough to send her shot into the back of the net.
Daly scored the second goal in the 32nd minute, when María Sánchez lofted a ball, finding the head of Rachel Daly in between a pair of Pride defenders, who was able to hit it home on the run for the finish.
Prince scored again in the 39th minute, when former Pride player Marisa Viggiano found Prince down the left side. Prince was able to cut back inside before sending in a cross that took a deflection straight into the back of the net.
Once again, Prince hit pay dirt in the 49th minute, jumping on a loose ball in the box on the left side and sending her shot towards the back post, continuing the scoring right after the half time break.
Finally, Michelle Alozie added another, catching the Pride on the counter attack and able to slot the ball across the line into the back of the net.
The loss was the first on the road for the Pride this season.
“We changed formations, obviously we were pushing.”Cromwell continued “I think we hit the post, had some chances, but nothing fell our way tonight. Everything they touched in the box was golden and it just feels pretty bad.”
The Pride remain on the road, next set to face the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, June 12 at SeatGeek Stadium in a 6 p.m. ET