Orlando Pride remains undefeated at home with victory over Boston Breakers

Orlando Pride 2 Boston Breaker 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 3rd June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

On a night of remembrance, Orlando Pride (2-3-3, 9 points) picked up an important win on Saturday night, defeating the Boston Breakers (2-4-2, 8 points), as well as the rain, en route to a 2-0 win at Orlando City Stadium. It was the Pride’s first shutout of the 2017 season and the Club’s second straight victory in front of its home crowd after earning a 3-1 win over North Carolina three weeks ago.

Orlando Pride 2 Boston Breaker 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 3rd June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“I was really delighted with the way we started the game tonight,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni (pictured above) said. “We started it and showed real intent and we were rewarded for that by the two early goals. It was great to have a clean sheet. I can’t remember exactly when we had one of those before, it’s been some time. I was pleased with a lot of aspects of our performance tonight. Difficult conditions against a very competitive team.“

Orlando Pride 2 Boston Breaker 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 3rd June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

It took less than 10 minutes for the Pride to set the tone for the match, with Marta earning the first penalty in Orlando Pride history, after 28 games, in the eighth minute. Boston goalkeeper Abby Smith earned a yellow card for taking down Marta that arguably might have been a red card for stopping the forward’s clear goalscoring opportunity. The Brazilian stepped up to the spot and fired a low shot into the left side of the net.

Orlando Pride 2 Boston Breaker 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 3rd June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando then kept the pressure up and forced Boston into an error that led to the second goal just five minutes later.  A poor back pass saw Camilla race down the left hand side before crossing to Jasmyne Spencer to tap home into an empty net. It was Spencer’s third goal of the season off an assist from Camila.

The Pride rolled out a new-look lineup, starting Steph Catley and Toni Pressley in their usual spots at left back and center back, respectively. Sermanni pushed Ali Krieger into the second center back position and dropped midfielder Kristen Edmonds to right back, a position she previously played in her time at Western New York. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe made her second straight start for Orlando, the third of her career, and kept the Breakers off the board for her first career shutout.

In midfield, Monica returned to patrol the center of the field with Dani Weatherholt away with the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team and Alanna Kennedy had a fine game filling in the holding midfield position. Sermanni also called upon rookie Rachel Hill, giving the UConn product her first career start in front of the 5,185 fans and she made an impact on the game as she came inches from scoring her first professional goal in the 32nd minute.

In truth, the Pride dominated the match and should have won by more than 2-0.

Orlando Pride 2 Boston Breaker 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 3rd June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Before the game Orlando Pride fans marched to the ground remembering the tragic events at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. 49 people died that night in Orlando and Pride fans carried banners in tribute to those that had fallen. The march was a reminder that soccer can play a part in healing as well as being a focal point to bring people together to unite against the terrorists who want to destroy.

Due to the FIFA international break, the Pride will wait two weeks until its next match, returning to the road to face the Houston Dash on June 17. That match will begin a home-and-home series with the Texas side, with the Pride hosting Houston at 4 p.m. ET on June 24 at Orlando City Stadium. That match will be broadcast nationally as the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.

Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Kristen Edmonds, Ali Krieger ©, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Rachel Hill, Monica (Maddy Evans 62’), Alanna Kennedy, Camila (Chioma Ubogagu 72’); Marta; Jasmyne Spencer (Jamia Fields 88’)

Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Laura Alleway; Nickolette Driesse; Danica Evans

Boston Breakers: Abby Smith; Julie King ©, Christen Westphal, Amanda Frisbie (Morgan Andrews 63’), Brooke Elby; Angela Salem, Rose Lavelle, Amanda Da Costa (Rosie White 53’); Emilie Haavi, Natasha Dowie, Tiffany Weimer (Adriana Leon 53’)

Substitutes Not Used: Sammy Jo Prudhomme; Kylie Strom; Midge Purce, Ifeoma Onumonu

Attendance: 5,185

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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