ORLANDO, Fla. (March 18, 2017) – Orlando Pride saw its preseason schedule get off to a strong start on Saturday afternoon, defeating NCAA Division I opponent Stetson University 9-0 in a closed-door match at Sylvan Lake Park. Jasmyne Spencer scored two goals in the second half, while second-year forward Christina Burkenroad recorded three assists in the preseason debut.
Head Coach Tom Sermanni opened the game with a starting lineup that featured eight contract players – including Ashlyn Harris in goal and Ali Krieger anchoring a three-back system – and three preseason trialists.
“You’ve got to be very careful to not get carried away with preseason games, but I was pleased with the tempo we played at. I was pleased with the way we were able to mix up the teams and have good continuity between the players,” Sermanni said. “And I was just generally pleased with how we went about doing our jobs on the field today.”
Invitee Carol Rodrigues got the scoring started in with a tap-in goal in the sixth minute, pouncing on the rebound from midfielder Camila’s hard shot from the top of the box.
After a spell of high pressure inside the Stetson third, Chioma Ubogagu took control of a loose ball and made use of a nifty touch to give the Pride a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute.
Camila made it a three-goal game eight minutes later after 2017 draft pick Danica Evans drew a foul in the box. The Brazilian international stepped to the spot and fired a hard, mid-level shot that the goalkeeper had no chance to stop.
Sermanni deployed an entirely new XI for the second half, maintaining the three-back defensive line, that led to five more goals from the side in purple.
Early on, Kristen Edmonds scored her first goal of the preseason after Burkenroad drew a penalty kick. Minutes later, Burkenroad sent the ball into the box for Sarah Hagen, who tapped it in just a few yards shy of the goal line for a 5-0 lead.
Trialist Tabitha Tindell extended the lead with the Pride’s sixth goal in the 63rd minute before defender Toni Pressley got on the board in the 66th minute, heading in a quick volley from Burkenroad.
Burkenroad picked up her third assist in the 79th minute after Spencer fired in the team’s eighth goal. Spencer scored a second in the 84th minute, again on another fine pass from Levin, after a quick cut inside the box.
Orlando returns to the training field next week and will look ahead to its next preseason game, a closed-door match at the University of South Florida on March 25.
ORL – Rodrigues 6’
ORL – Ubogagu 21’
ORL – Camila (PK) 29’
ORL – Edmonds (PK) 53’
ORL – Hagen (Burkenroad) 55’
ORL – Tindell 63’
ORL – Pressley (Burkenroad) 66’
ORL – Spencer (Burkenroad) 79’
ORL – Spencer (Levin) 84’
Orlando First Half: Harris; Alleway, Krieger, Weatherholt; Fields, M. Evans, Driesse, D. Evans, Camila; Ubogagu, Rodrigues
Orlando Second Half: Bledsoe; White, Pressley, Levin; Burkenroad, Blankenship, Edmonds, O’Brien; Spencer, Hagen, Tindell
Substitutes Not Used: Kopale, Seabert