SEATTLE, Wash. (July 23, 2016) - Orlando Pride dropped a 5-2 decision on Saturday night, falling to host Seattle Reign FC at Memorial Stadium, splitting the season series at one win for each side. The match marked the Club’s final trip to the Pacific Northwest this season, as the Pride (6-8-0, 18 points) wrap up a two-game road trip next week at Boston before the National Women’s Soccer League enters a month-long break for the Rio Olympics.
“We said yesterday we were coming up against the best footballing team in the league and what we came up against tonight was the best footballing team in the league. [Seattle’s] players were on fire and really on top of their game and, to be honest, it opened up a bit of a gulf in class and tempo and decision making,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said after the match. “I thought our effort was first class. Our players were chasing for most of the game and they kept chasing until the end. They managed to get a consolation goal at the end and deserve a lot of credit for tonight but we were outplayed in every department. [Seattle’s] got several world class players and they played up to the billing tonight.”
Memorial Stadium, shadowed by the Space Needle, has historically been one of the most difficult venues in the league for visiting teams, as the Reign have lost just two of its last 32 matches in the stadium.
Jasmyne Spencer scored the Pride’s first goal on the evening, getting a goal back in the 52nd minute, to end Haley Kopmeyer’s bid for the shutout on a hustle play. Jamia Fields found Spencer in the box and the forward beat defender Kendall Fletcher to the spot, one-timing the cross into the near post.
Spencer’s goal kicked off a string of four goals in the second half, as the two clubs exchanged scores up until the 89th minute for the 5-2 final.
Kristen Edmonds scored Orlando’s second goal, being setup by second-half substitute Sarah Hagen on a perfect throughball, allowing the team’s leading goalscorer to slip her fourth of the season under Kopmeyer.
Seattle opened the scoring with a penalty kick 20-minutes in, after Dani Weatherholt fouled Fletcher as the two teams were jostling for a corner kick. Kim Little stepped to the spot to take the free kick, sending Orlando goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage to the right before tucking the ball into the left side of the goal.
Welsh midfielder Jessica Fishlock doubled the Reign lead in the 30th minute, powering a volley past Savage from inside the box. After a set piece cross from Kawasumi, Keelin Winter’s header was blocked by the Pride defense but Fishlock was able to find the loose ball and make it 2-0 a half hour into the match.
Manon Melis and Fletcher also scored for Seattle, while the home team’s final goal came on an Orlando own goal.
Savage, who grew up just an hour outside of Seattle, finished the night with eight saves - the highest single-game total in Orlando Pride’s 14-match history. The goalkeeper made a big save in the 33rd minute, coming off her line to smother a one-on-one attempt by Melis.
Rookie Christina Burkenroad came inches away from her first career goal in the 38th minute, but was denied after an outstanding defensive play by Fletcher, who headed away a sure goal after Kopmeyer had been beat.
The Pride next travel to face the Boston Breakers on July 31 at 6 p.m. ET at Jordan Field, then see a 26-day break until their next match, when they host the Washington Spirit at Camping World Stadium on August 26.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. Orlando Pride
Date: July 23, 2016
Venue: Memorial Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
SEA - Kim Little (Penalty Kick) 21’
SEA - Jessica Fishlock 30’
SEA - Manon Melis 47’
ORL - Jasmyne Spencer (Jamia Fields) 52’
SEA - Kendall Fletcher (Lauren Barnes) 56’
SEA - Own Goal (Toni Pressley) 87’
ORL - Kristen Edmonds (Sarah Hagen) 89’
Orlando Pride: Kaitlyn Savage; Cami Levin, Kaylyn Kyle, Toni Pressley, Sam Witteman (Leah Fortune 79’); Dani Weatherholt (Sarah Hagen 80’), Maddy Evans, Kristen Edmonds; Jamia Fields, Jasmyne Spencer, Christina Burkenroad (Becky Edwards 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: Megan Dorsey; Kim Reynolds; Allie Wisner, Sierra Lelii
Seattle Reign: Haley Kopmeyer; Elli Reed, Kendall Fletcher, Lauren Barnes, Carson Pickett; Jessica Fishlock, Keelin Winters (Beverly Yanez 74’), Kim Little (Lindsay Elston 85’); Merritt Mathias, Manon Melis (Kiersten Dallstream 79’), Nahomi Kawasumi
Substitutes Not Used: Andi Tostanoski; Michelle Cruz; Havana Solaun
Stats Summary: SEA / ORL
Shots: 23 / 8
Shots on Goal: 12 / 5
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 1 / 0
SEA - Kiersten Dallstream (Yellow - Tactical Foul) 81’
Referee: Christopher Spivey
Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Elliot
Assistant Referee 2: Joshua Haimes
Fourth Official: Kelsey Harms