Sky Blue FC scored twice early in the second-half to erase a halftime deficit and defeat Orlando Pride, 2-1 on Saturday night at Camping World Stadium. The win was Sky Blue’s first since before the Olympic break and got them back to even in terms of wins and losses with a match to play. The Pride had their winless streak extended to seven.
Sam Kerr, celebrating her 23rd birthday, was the catalyst of the Sky Blue rally. In the 48th minute she collected a ball in space on top of the penalty box, eluded Dani Weatherholt, cut back to shed Monica, walked in on Ashlyn Harris and beat the goalkeeper with a right foot for her fourth goal in as many league matches. In the 53rd she won the second ball after a Caroline Casey goal kick and quickly played it ahead to put Maya Hayes in behind the Pride center backs. Hayes’s first effort was smothered by Harris but it squirted loose and Hayes never had to break stride to recollect it and knock it in.
The Pride had take the lead on a magical free kick goal by Kristen Edmonds. After Kristin Grubka fouled Alex Morgan, Edmonds stepped into the dead ball and sent it curling into the upper right corner. It was the team-leading sixth goal of the season for Edmonds.
— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 11, 2016
The match featured the first start in a Pride shirt for Lisa De Vanna, who played for Sky Blue in 2013. But the Pride lost another player to injury when Josee Belanger had to be helped off the field near the end of the first half. On the other hand Laura Alleway made a late appearance and had the Pride’s best chance to level it late when Morgan found her back post with a well-meant cross but Alleway could not get on top of it and the shot sailed high. For Sky Blue, CoCo Goodson came on late for her first appearance of 2016 after being injured for much of the summer.
Sky Blue (7-7-5, 26 pts) will finish the season at home against the Thorns on Sunday, September 25. The Pride (6-12-1, 19 pts) also finish at home, against FC Kansas City on Saturday, September 24.
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