It wasn’t a convincing performance going up against the only winless team in the NWSL, but Pride managed to get the job done.
A two-goal performance from Sydney Leroux, followed with a late go-ahead goal from Rachel Hill lifted the Orlando Pride to a 3-2 victory over Sky Blue FC Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium.
“It was bits of frustration intermingled with bits of good soccer,” Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said. “Bits of bad habits and times when we could’ve finished the game off. As I’m going over all the the 90 minutes, dealing with our performances, I think we’re a wee bit fortunate to come away with a win tonight.”
“We created enough chances to win the game, but I think we did enough things poorly that could’ve lost us the game,” he added. “It was a mix performance for me. Our players feel that as well — we could have been better.”
The Pride (5-3-4, 19 points) took an early lead in the second minute when a cross from Chioma Ubogagu sent a cross into the penalty area, finding Leroux who headed the ball past Kailen Sheridan.
Savannah McCaskill tied the game for New Jersey in the 16th minute after hitting a rebound off a shot from Katie Johnson.
Leroux, who scored her fourth goal in three games, gave the Pride the lead again in the 31st minute after heading a cross from Christine Nairn, but Sky Blue tied the game again in the 37th minute when Madison Tiernan scored off a rebound from Johnson.
Hill, who entered the game in the 60th minute for Ubogagu, scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute when Marta beat two Sky Blue players, finding Alex Morgan who was making a run down the left flank, who then sent a cross finding Hill the ball into the back of the net.
Camila, who was announced earlier this week she fully recovered from knee injury, was not named to the Pride’s final game day roster.
According to Sermanni, the Brazilian is cleared to play but not ready to play after only a few days of full training: “You don’t come back and play after five days of full training after out for nine months.”
The Pride take on the Washington Spirit on Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Here’s how the Pride lined up:
Orlando Pride XI: Ashlyn Harris (c); Poliana, Shelina Zadorsky, Monica, Carson Pickett; Alanna Kennedy, Christine Nairn, Emily van Egmond; Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux.
Orlando Pride bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Toni Pressley, Dani Weatherholt, Kristen Edmonds, Danica Evans, Rachel Hill, Marta.
(Photos by Adrian J Photography)
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