Orlando Pride v Racing Louisville FC: Final score 2-2 if the late set piece turns victory into a tie
Orlando Pride has never come from behind to win a match in the Marc Skinner era. For just five minutes, it looked like that was going to change after Abi hit Kim in the 88th minute. But Brooke Hendrix equalized in stoppage time and the pride linked Racing Louisville FC 2-2. Taylor Kornieck and Kim both scored their first NWSL goals and Meggie Dougherty Howard made two assists in their first game at Pride.
“We’re going to get a result,” Skinner said after the game. “We always knew we were going to fight both the crowd and the team we were going to play against. It’s only going to increase and get better as we go through the games. It’s risky because it’s so early.
“I’m very pleased with the way the players came in from behind and showed resilience that we’re trying to work on for. You know, we’re disappointed to score a goal in the end but not to take anything away from Louisville, and today’s event was a good experience for everyone. “
There were few surprises in Skinner’s starting XI. Ashlyn Harris started on the net. In front of her were Phoebe McClernon and Konya Plummer in central defense, Ali Krieger in the back right and Ali Riley on the left. Dougherty Howard played defensive midfield with Jade Moore. Marisa Viggiano, Kornieck and Marta played over them, with Sydney Leroux as the only striker. Viggiano, Kornieck and Marta changed positions during the game.
It was a back and forth to start the game. Each team had a few chances. Only two minutes later, Leroux shot a shot just over the bar in the first good look for both teams. Louisville should probably have continued in the fourth minute, but Harris beat Yuki Nagasato from close range.
The breakthrough came in the 12th minute. Cece Kizer saw a wonderful pass from Emily Fox all by himself. She then did well to put the ball behind Harris for the home team’s first goal. After the goal, Harris spoke to her defenders, presumably about giving the Louisville strikers too much space.
Leroux called for a penalty in the 42nd minute. She ran for the gate and Brooke Hendrix fought to defend. The two players used their bodies to get to the ball. The attack ended with both of them on the ground. It’s hard to tell if there was a foul there, but Leroux was obviously not happy with the no-call.
Pride tied things together two minutes later. Viggiano was good at stealing the ball from Fox in the right corner, then found Dougherty Howard on the corner of the box. Dougherty Howard sent in a great cross and Kornieck drove the header off the right post to equalize.
“It just felt so great,” said Kornieck. “Me and Meggie have a crazy connection. She just put a ball up, right in the perfect spot for me, and it just felt amazing to finally score the first goal, break the ice, and it’s just a surreal moment for me. ”
This goal was created by two Pride debutants. Dougherty Howard got her first support at Orlando, while Kornieck scored her first NWSL goal.
Kornieck was the most threatening player for Orlando. She made good use of her physical stature, but was also impressive with her feet. She started a couple of half chances and was a focus of pride in midfield. She fought well defensively to get the ball back.
“In my opinion [Kornieck] was great, ”Skinner said. “I think one of the things that we have to balance is that some of these stronger body-to-body challenges are going to be fouled against them. If it really is just your strength and ability to do that. I found them excellent when it came to being in the right places at the right time. There are things that she has to keep working on. And she’ll only get that through experience, but what she showed for the goal was just the quality that we know she has. It is literally indefensible when you have that skill, timing, and quality. So there’s a lot more to come from Taylor. “
The story of the first half for the pride was sloppy owned. The team tried hard to link the passes together. They had a decent amount of possession (52%), but the accuracy of the medium length passes was incorrect. The long passes are seldom linked. Louisville tossed the players forward on the counter causing problems for the Pride defense.
Both teams had four shots, but the home team scored more (2-1). The accuracy of fit was also similar (68% -67% in favor of Louisville). Orlando were probably the happier side to come out of halftime. Louisville were the better team and Pride was on the defensive a lot, especially in the first 15 minutes. The Pride had 13 clearances, 11 tackles won, and 29 duels won.
The pride came out much better at halftime. They controlled the ball well and gave up fewer transitional moments. After losing the ball, Orlando struggled to get it back quickly. Plummer and McClernon, who both had intermittent problems in the first half, made some important interceptions and went into play after the break.
“I’m really proud of her,” Skinner said of his central defense. “First and foremost, they will make mistakes as part of the overall growth for tomorrow and not just in the here and now. It lies between the birth of players who give this club a long life over a period of time. You are young, you will be faced with choices that will be drawn from tonight’s experience. But their energetic commitment to what we ask of them is excellent. “
Pride got into injury concerns in the second half. Jade Moore was injured in the 63rd minute. There were no repetitions of what had happened, but she was able to jog from the field. Erika Tymrak came for Moore and made her Pride debut. She moved to right midfield and Viggiano fell into defensive midfield.
Just a few minutes later, Kornieck suffered a leg injury. It could stay in the game, but it was visibly painful. Orlando had his first corner in the 76th minute. Leroux sent a ball into the box. Kornieck just missed it, but the ball fell on Marta upstairs in the penalty area. Marta took a touch. At her touch, Louisville could reset and empower itself to defend, block her shot, and end the threat. After this piece, Kornieck made room for Kim.
Jorian Baucom committed a bad foul in the 83rd minute and hit Riley hard. The foul earned Baucom a yellow card and Riley stayed down a few minutes later. Fortunately, she was able to stay in the game because the duel was borderline red.
“I mean, it was really scary,” Riley said of the device. “I think as a defender, like those moments when you are really vulnerable and when you clear a ball and someone pokes it right in your leg, it can end your career. So I was obviously very scared. But I just wish the referees would take responsibility. At least say “I didn’t see it” or something like that. I know she got the card but don’t say she stepped on my foot and then don’t look at my leg where I have a full cleat on my shin. So this is just frustrating. Everyone makes mistakes and referees get it wrong, but at least admit that you didn’t see what happened. “
The game seemed destined for a tie, but Kim put on some magic in the 88th minute. Dougherty Howard played a fantastic through ball. Kim ran into space and shot perfectly over Betos. That was Kim’s first NWSL goal.
Louisville wasn’t finished yet. After a free kick, the Pride couldn’t clear him. The ball fell directly onto an unmarked Hendrix in the penalty area. Hendrix had little trouble finishing it only to tie it back at 2-2.
The Pride prevailed 11-8 against Louisville but struggled to get shots on target (2). Ownership was a perfect 50/50 split, and Louisville had a slightly better fit (71% -69%). Defensively, the pride dominated the statistics sheet and held more won duels (57-41), tackles (22-8) and clearances (19-11).
The Pride have a quick turnaround and are back in action on Wednesday. Orlando welcomes Gotham FC on April 14th at 7pm