HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 26, 2020) - Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 point) fell 3-1 to NWSL Challenge Cup champions Houston Dash (1-1-0, 3 points) on Saturday night at BBVA Stadium. The match marked the Pride’s final road game of the Fall Series, with the Pride set to host both of its regional opponents, the Dash and North Carolina Courage, in the final two games of the 2020 season.
Marisa Viggiano scored the Pride’s lone goal of the match, the second of her career. Saturday’s match also saw three more Pride players earn their NWSL debuts, with the Pride continuing to use the Fall Series as an opportunity to provide minutes to young talent.
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“The players tried really hard tonight; there’s no denying they physically ran and they gave everything that they needed to give from that perspective. We weren’t intelligent without the ball enough tonight. We weren’t intelligent with the ball enough. It looked a little bit disconnected tonight. You’re playing against a team that has senior players in every position and also seasoned veterans in the NWSL so, they were slicker than us tonight. A better cohesion, better moments. We can be proud of what the team have put out on the field in terms of their effort, when it comes down to the basics. You can look at what they give you in their energy level and their commitment and I think that wasn’t missing. So, of course I’m really disappointed with many factors within the game, but I’m really pleased with the energy and the effort of the players.”
27’ Nichelle Prince (Sophie Schmidt) - HOU 1, ORL 0
The home side got on the board just under the half hour mark of the match, with Sophia Schmidt sending a ball over the top to Nichelle Prince who beat the Pride backline. Prince used a quick chip, beating Ashlyn Harris to the near side.
45+3’ Marisa Viggiano - ORL 1, HOU 1
Second-year midfielder Marisa Viggiano brought the Pride level just before the halftime whistle, with a solo effort in first half injury time. Viggiano drove into the Dash final third before cutting across the top of the box and firing a low shot that deflected off the post and in.
55’ Sophie Schmidt (PK) - HOU 2, ORL 1
The Dash took the lead for a second time in the match, which Shea Groom drawing a penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt stepped up and netted a shot to the upper right side of the net.
72’ Shea Groom - HOU 3, ORL 1
Houston extended its lead to two goals in the 73rd minute after Shea Groom jumped on a ball that struck the post and knocked it in from close range.
- The Pride were playing without forwards Sydney Leroux and Kristen Edmonds on Saturday night, who elected to not travel to Houston for the match due to safety precautions.
- Savanah Uveges, Konya Plummer and Ally Haran earned their first NWSL appearances, with Uveges starting in the midfield for the Pride while Plummer and Haran come on as second half substitutes.
- Rookie midfielder Chelsee Washington earned her first career point on the night, assisting on Marisa Viggiano’s first half goal. Washington also earned her first NWSL start on Saturday.
- Saturday was the Pride’s final road game of the Fall Series, as the team will now close out competition with two
- Next Match: Following a bye week, the Pride will play their first home match of the year on Friday, Oct. 9 when they face the Dash again, this time at Osceola County Stadium. The match will kickoff at 5 p.m. ET and will air on CBS Sports Network.