ROCHESTER, N.Y. (June 11, 2016) - Orlando Pride was defeated 1-0 by the Western New York Flash on Saturday night, despite a tough and gritty performance by the Club in Rochester.
“I think we started slowly. We know, playing against Western New York, they play at a very high tempo. It took us 10 or 15 minutes to get into the game. You’re hoping you come out [strong], but we didn’t and conceded a soft goal,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “But I thought after that we really committed to the game and were probably a little bit unfortunate not to go into halftime tied.”
The home team jumped out to an early lead, with Makenzy Doniak sneaking a ball into the far post just four minutes into the match. Doniak was sent running on a throughball from Jessica McDonald into the right side of the box and was able to tuck the ball past Ashlyn Harris.
Doniak’s goal would prove to be the only goal of the match, but the Pride were knocking on the door throughout, with a number of opportunities on Flash rookie netminder Britt Eckerstrom.
Like their meeting just over a month ago in Orlando, the match was physical on both sides of the pitch with a total of 26 fouls called.
Twenty-one minutes into the match, Jasmyne Spencer appeared to level things at 1-1, but her goal was overturned after a lengthy discussion between the referees. Kristen Edmonds sent a lofted ball into the box that Laura Alleway got a head on, sending it forward to a running Spencer who easily headed it into the net. The play caused a collision in the box, which prompted referees to discuss the play --eventually overturning the goal and calling for an offside.
Alleway had an opportunity of her own seven minutes earlier, after Spencer was taken down in the center of the pitch to draw a free kick. Australians Alleway and Steph Catley stood over the ball, with the center back electing to take the shot, forcing Eckerstrom into a fingertip save at the left upper 90.
In her first game back from international duty, Ashlyn Harris came up with five saves for the Pride, including a few big stops on the Flash’s speedy forwards.
McDonald found herself with opportunities on Harris in both the first and second half, but the goalkeeper was able to turn away the veteran forward on all occasions.
Spencer nearly netted a goal in the 37th minute, after Maddy Evans’ long-distance strike was bobbled by Eckerstrom in front of the goal. Spencer ran onto the free ball and slid a shot by the goalkeeper, but Alanna Kennedy was able to clear it away just before crossing the goal line.
Alex Morgan, who scored a highlight-reel game-winner in the previous meeting between the two clubs, tried to repeat the feat in the second half but her chip attempt over the goalkeeper sailed high of the crossbar.
The Pride will close out a four-game road trip on Saturday, June 18, when they travel to face the Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. The Club returns to Camping World Stadium with two matches the following week, first hosting the Houston Dash on June 23 followed by a June 26 meeting with Portland Thorns FC.
Tickets to all home matches can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Western New York vs. Orlando Pride
Date: June 11, 2016
Venue: Rochester Rhino’s Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Sunny, clear, 80s
WNY - Makenzy Doniak (Jessica McDonald) 4'
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris; Steph Catley, Laura Alleway, Toni Pressley, Josee Belanger (Lianne Sanderson 55’); Maddy Evans, Kristen Edmonds (Sarah Hagen 81’), Monica; Jasmyne Spencer (Christina Burkenroad 86’), Alex Morgan, Sam Witteman
Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Lianne Sanderson, Becky Edwards, Dani Weatherholt, Kaylyn Kyle
Western New York: Britt Eckerstrom; Elizabeth Eddy, Abby Dahlkemper, Alanna Kennedy, Jaelene Hinkle; Makenzy Doniak (Adriana Leon 69’), Samantha Mewis, Michaela Hahn, Meredith Speck (Abby Erceg 46’); Jessica McDonald, Lynn Williams
Substitutes Not Used: Katelyn Rowland; Jeon Ga Eul; Taylor Smith, Kristen Hamilton, Courtney Niemiec
Stats Summary: WNY / ORL
Shots: 15 / 14
Shots on Goal: 6 / 9
Saves: 9 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 16 / 10
Offside: 3 / 1
WNY - Meredith Speck (Yellow) 45+’
ORL - Jasmyne Spencer (Yellow) 76’
WNY - Michaela Hahn (Yellow) 83’
Referee: Elvis Mahmutovic
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Bermudez
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Trottier
Fourth Official: Lauren Dearman