PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 27, 2017) – Orlando Pride (1-3-3, 6 points) dropped a 2-1 decision on Saturday night, falling to Sky Blue FC after a late-game goal from Maya Hayes. The road match wraps up a two-game away trip for the Pride and snaps a three-game point streak. Orlando will now turn its attention to its next match, hosting the Boston Breakers at 7 p.m. ET on June 3 at Orlando City Stadium.
“I think the difference in the game was that we got punished for the errors. We said before the game that Sky Blue are a team that play with a great deal of spirit and a great deal of heart. They work extremely hard for each other, and I thought they did that exceptionally well tonight. I congratulate them on the result,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “On the other hand, I thought we had patches of very good play then we’d do some things that, really, we can’t afford to do at this level and give the ball away in positions that put us in real peril.”
The Pride’s lone goal of the game was the first of the game, with forward Jasmyne Spencer scoring her second goal of the season in the 18th minute. The goal came in a fashion very similar to her first goal of the year.
Marta got the play started, driving through a herd of Sky Blue defenders before dropping the ball off to Camila at the top of the box. Camila then played a quick slip pass in to Spencer, who found a gap between Sky Blue’s center backs, and drove a shot past Kailen Sheridan. It was Camila’s second assist in as many games.
Sky Blue leveled the game just before halftime, with Sam Kerr tucking a shot just under the crossbar. Hayes scored the game-winning goal with eight minutes left in regulation, collecting a Kerr header and scoring in transition.
The Pride offense was knocking for a second goal on multiple occasions, holding 70 percent of possession in the second half and 66.7 percent on the game as a whole. In the second 45, Jamia Fields collected a pass from Marta, but her low screamer skimmed just wide of the far post.
Toni Pressley came inches from putting the Pride ahead in the 74th minute, after Alanna Kennedy headed on a cross from Steph Catley. Sheridan came up with the initial save and, though Pressley was waiting for the rebound, the goalkeeper recovered for the doorstep stop.
With Ashlyn Harris out with a quadriceps injury, Aubrey Bledsoe got the call, earning her second career start against, this time against her former team. Bledsoe made a series of outstanding saves in the 26th minute, stopping back-to-back corner kick chances from the Sky Blue offense. The third-year pro finished the match with six saves.
Monica came into the match in the 60th minute, returning to action for the first time since getting injured seconds into the Pride’s May 7 draw at FC Kansas City.
For their next match, the Pride head back to Orlando City Stadium for the first time in three weeks. Tickets to the Boston game, the Pride’s third home match of the season, can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Orlando Pride
Date: May 27, 2017
Venue: Yurcak Field
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, mid-60s
ORL - Jasmyne Spencer (Camila) 18’
NJ - Samantha Kerr (Daphne Corboz) 43’
NJ - Maya Hayes (Samantha Kerr) 82'
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Ali Krieger ©, Alanna Kennedy, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Kristen Edmonds (Danica Evans 75’), Dani Weatherholt (Maddy Evans 72’), Camila; Marta, Jamia Fields (Monica 60’), Jasmyne Spencer
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Laura Alleway; Nickolette Driesse; Christina Burkenroad
Sky Blue FC: Kailan Sheridan; Erica Skroski (Kayla Mills 51’), Christie Pearce ©, Mandy Freeman, Erin Simon; Sam Kerr, Raquel Rodriguez, Sarah Killion, Madison Tiernan (Leah Galton 75’); Daphne Corboz (McKenzie Meehan 55’), Maya Hayes
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Casey; Domi Richardson; Taylor Lytle, Nikki Stanton
Stats Summary: NJ / ORL
Possession: 33.3% / 66.7%
Shots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 10
Offside: 2 / 1
Referee: Robi Hullner
Assistant Referee 1: John Krill
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Amber O’Connor