SANDY, Utah (May 25, 2019) - Orlando Pride (0-6-1, 1 point) dropped a 2-0 decision to Utah Royals FC (4-1-1, 13 points) on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match was the first game of the season with all eight of the Pride’s international players away, as national teams begin preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Rookie forward Caitlin Farrell made her professional debut in the match, while third-year player Danica Evans saw her 2019 season debut in the second half.
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“[Utah Head Coach] Laura [Harvey] builds good teams, and smart teams. And I think they were smarter today than we were. I don’t think they were better than us, I thought we were actually better than them but we’ve got to take the chances...But what I’ve seen tonight, and this is the take-home message, is that our team showed the spirit that I want the Pride to show going forward. We need to add the quality but they’ve defined the spirit needed to be on the Pride team today and I think that’s really, really important.”
31’ - Amy Rodriguez (PK) - UTA 1, ORL 0
Despite the Pride controlling possession over the first half hour, the home side got on the board first after Vero Boquete drew a penalty kick at the top of the box. Forward Amy Rodriguez took the ensuing kick, firing it high into the right corner.
89’ - Makenzy Doniak - UTA 2, ORL 0
With the Pride pushing up the field for a late equalizer, the Royals get an insurance goal from Makenzy Doniak who slotted the ball past Haley Kopmeyer on a break for the 2-0.
- Rookie forward Caitlin Farrell made her professional debut in the match, coming on for Marisa Viggiano as an 84th minute substitute. Farrell was signed as a supplemental player after finishing her collegiate career at Georgetown University.
- Rookie midfielder Marisa Viggiano and second-year player Abby Elinsky both made their first professional starts on Saturday night.
- Danica Evans earned her first minutes of 2019 entering in the 75th minute of the match. Evans was drafted by the Pride in 2017, No. 22 overall.
- With Amy Rodriguez’s penalty kick goal in the 31st minute, Orlando and Utah have seen a penalty kick goal in three of the five overall meetings between the two sides. The Pride scored twice from the spot in 2018, while Saturday’s goal marked the first for Utah in matchup history.
The Pride head back to Orlando for their next match, hosting the North Carolina Courage at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, June 1. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.