Recap | Orlando Pride Suffer First Defeat of 2021, Fall 2-1 at Houston Dash

HOUSTON, Texas (June 26, 2021) - Orlando Pride (4-1-3, 15 points) dropped its first match of the 2021 NWSL regular season, a 2-1 decision at the Houston Dash (3-3-1, 10 points), on Saturday night. The loss snaps a seven-match unbeaten streak to start the campaign, the best start in Club history, and nine-straight matches without a loss dating back to the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup. 

Saturday’s match concluded a strenuous week for the Pride, with three games over seven days, the last two of those on the road at Kansas City and Houston, respectively. 

Down 2-0 after the first half, Orlando battled back in the second half with Gunny Jónsdóttir scoring her first goal as a member of the Pride in the 49th minute off a corner-kick assist from Marta. The Pride would test Jane Campbell and the Dash defense over the remaining minutes, but were unable to find the equalizer. 

Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“I’m more proud of the players tonight than I am whenever they’ve won a game because, although the technicality maybe suffered, we had the guile and the togetherness and the focus to try and get back in the game. I mean, they gave everything. For me, I’m so, so proud of what they’ve done tonight. Any more than any victory because this is going to be a long season and now, hopefully, have a schedule that reflects being able to put healthy players on the field.”

Scoring Recap:

18’ Maria Sánchez - HOU 1, ORL 0
Houston got on the board 18 minutes into the match, after Kristie Mewis sent a ball into the box that was deflected toward goal off the knee of Maria Sanchez. Though goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made the initial save, Sanchez was able to pounce on her own rebound to send the ball into the far side of the goal. 

26’ Veronica Latsko (Sophie Schmidt) - HOU 2, ORL 0
The home side doubled its lead eight minutes later after Sophie Schmidt chipped a ball over the back line, which found the head of Veronica Latsko for the goal. 

49’ Gunny Jónsdóttir (Marta) - HOU 2, ORL 1
The Pride battled back into things just minutes into the second half, taking advantage of three-straight corner attempts, eventually capitalizing on the third go. Marta sent a ball to the near post that Gunny Jónsdóttir got a head on, flicking it into the Houston net for her first with the Pride.

Match Notes:

  • With her goal early in the second half, Gunny Jónsdóttir tallied her first career goal as a member of the Pride and the third of her NWSL career. 
  • Marta recorded her third assist of the season on Saturday night, with the Brazilian international having a hand in goals in each of the Pride’s last four matches.
  • Marta’s assist extends her Club-leading record to 13 all-time. 
  • Head Coach Marc Skinner made four personnel changes to the starting XI from Wednesday’s match, with Ashlyn Harris in goal, Ali Riley returning to the back line and Alex Morgan and Marta starting up top. 
  • Chelsee Washington earned her second-straight start on Saturday night, slotting in at midfield. 
  • With the start on Saturday, Ashlyn Harris moved to 68 regular-season matches played all-time for the Pride, just one away from tying former defender Kristen Edmonds for second place in Club history. Each of those appearances have come as starts, which stands the most starts in Pride history. 
  • Saturday’s match wraps up a stretch of three games in seven days for the Pride, the second time this year Orlando has faced such a stretch. 

Next Match: The Pride will return to Exploria Stadium next weekend, hosting the North Carolina Courage in a 6 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday, July 4. 

Scoring Summary:
HOU - Maria Sánchez 18’
HOU - Veronica Latsko (Sophie Schmidt) 26’
ORL - Gunny Jónsdóttir (Marta) 49’

Misconduct Summary:
ORL - 
Meggie Dougherty Howard (Yellow Card) 56’
ORL - Marta (Yellow Card) 90’
HOU - Haley Hanson (Yellow Card) 90+4’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando Pride - GK Ashlyn Harris ©; D Ali Riley, Ali Krieger, Phoebe McClernon (Toni Pressley 90+2), Courtney Petersen (Ally Haran 78’); M Gunny Jónsdóttir, Chelsee Washington (Crystal Thomas 46’), Meggie Dougherty Howard (Erika Tymrak 86’); F Marta, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux

Substitutes Not Used: GK Erin McLeod, Brittany Wilson; D Konya Plummer; F Abi Kim

Houston Dash - GK Jane Campbell ©; D Allysha Chapman, Katie Naughton, Megan Oyster, Haley Hanson; M Sophie Schmidt, Gabby Seiler, Kristie Mewis; F Maria Sánchez (Shea Groom 73’), Nichelle Prince (Jasmyne Spencer 86’), Veronica Latsko

Substitutes Not Used: GK Lindsey Harris; D Ally Prisock; M Makamae Gomera-Stevens, Maegan Rosa, Emily Ogle, Bri Visalli; F Jamia Fields

Details of the Game:
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear
Date: June 26, 2021
Attendance: N/A

Stats Summary: ORL / HOU
Possession: 45% / 55%
Shots: 7 / 14
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 8
Fouls: 11 / 6
Offside: 1 / 1

Officials: 
REF: Karen Callado
AR1: Tiffini Turpin
AR2: Rebecca Luther
4TH: Hector Hernandez

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