Kristen Edmonds did not score a goal in the first five matches of the 2016 NWSL season.
In the Orlando Pride’s 1-0 victory over the Houston Dash (2-3-1, 7 points) Friday night, the 28-year-old’s scoreless drought was over. After rookie Sam Witteman’s shot was blocked by the Dash defense in the 81st minute, Lianne Sanderson gathered an errant clear and drove a cross-field pass to Edmonds on the other side of the box. Edmonds took one touch outside Houston’s box and fired a rocket past the outstretched arm of Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
The Dash came right back with equalizing attempts in the final minutes of the match.
Houston’s Allysha Chapman sent a cross in to a cutting Chioma Ubogagu in the 83rd minute. Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris met Ubogagu at the top and punched the ball out, effectively clearing the danger for the next few minutes.
At about the 88th minute, Amber Brooks found room enough to launch a long-distance boomer from approximately 20 yards outside the Pride box. As powerful as the shot was, though, it flew straight into the hands of Harris’ mitts.
One last opportunity remained for the Dash in extra time. From just outside the right side of the box, Houston’s Morgan Brian fired a low cross to Poliana Barbosa Medeiros, who hit a one-timer too far right of the Pride’s net, effectively ending the match.
The Orlando Pride (4-2-0, 12 points) will play FC Kansas City on Sunday, May 28, at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Pride player of the match
Australian national teamer Steph Catley earns tonight’s Pride player of the match honors for her performance on the defensive end. Any time there was an opening down the right side of the pitch, Catley was always there to shut down any opportunity. The 22-year-old drew multiple fouls and stopped any penetration on her side of the pitch.
Additionally, Catley made up for a missing defensive presence in Laura Alleway. The fellow Matilda was set to be in the starting lineup Friday night, but was injured and sidelined for the match during warmups.
First-ever away win
In the Pride’s sixth match of their inaugural season in the NWSL, the team found its first-ever away win Friday night. With the victory, the Pride solidify two things:
- [Currently] sole possession of second place in the NWSL standings
- Two wins in four total matches against the Dash
The two teams will next meet on Thursday, June 23, in Orlando, and lastly in Houston on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Fields’ first appearance
Jamia Fields made her first appearance of the season in Friday’s 1-0 victory. The former Florida State University Seminole entered the match in the 77th minute for Jasmyne Spencer.
Her intensity and fly-to-the-ball play style was indicative of the fact that she had not seen playing time all season. It was clear that she wanted to prove to Pride head coach Tom Sermanni she belonged on the pitch for the inaugural season.
Still no Lloyd
Fans were once again deprived of an Alex Morgan-Carli Lloyd matchup in the second of four matches between the Pride and Dash. Lloyd is nursing an MCL injury she suffered in the teams’ first-ever matchup in Orlando. The 33-year-old is projected to be out for another three weeks.
Orlando Pride starting XI (4-3-3): Harris, Catley, Toni Pressley, Monica Hickmann Alves, Josée Bélanger; Kaylyn Kyle, Sanderson, Becky Edwards; Spencer, Morgan, Edmonds
Houston Dash starting XI (4-1-2-3): Williams; Chapman, Becca Moros, Cari Roccaro, Poliana; Brian; Andressa, Denise O’Sullivan; Kealia Ohai, Rachel Daly, Janine Beckie
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