ORLANDO — Sky Blue FC’s season from hell got even more hellish Saturday night.
The National Women’s Soccer League club twice rallied from deficits but the Orlando Pride scored in the 83rd minute to register a 3-2 victory at Orlando City Stadium.
The result kept the New Jersey side winless at 0-9-2 and with only two points while the Pride (19) improved to 5-3-4.
Savannah McCaskill and Madison Tiernan scored for the visitors.
“To score two goals on the road and not come away with at least a point is disappointing,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said. “On two different occasions, we were able to persevere and find equalizers, which clearly shows the character of our team. However, we have to tighten up the small details in order to minimize the opportunities that our opponents are able to create.”
Orlando found the back of the net in the second minute. Chioma Ubogagu was played into a run on the left flank before a sending a ball into the penalty area. Sydney Leroux touched around a defender before finishing for a 1-0 lead.
Sky Blue FC leveled in the 16th minute after Imani Dorsey picked off a Christine Nairn pass in the midfield and fed the ball to McCaskill, who then headed upfield. As the Pride defense collapsed on her, McCaskill hit an overlapping Dorsey to her left, who struck a left-footed shot that was turned away by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. McCaskill one-touched the rebound into the back of the net.
The Pride regained the lead in the 31st minute, as Nairn sent a looping ball into the box that found Leroux with a diving header. Her touch was enough to redirect the service into the goal and make it a 2-1 contest.
In the 37th minute, Sky Blue FC again equalized. Following a throw-in by Christina Gibbons, Katie Johnson got off a shot that forced Harris to make a diving save. Similar to the first Sky Blue FC goal, Madison Tiernan was positioned perfectly to grab the rebound and fired a one-timer past Harris to make it all level at 2-2.
Orlando found the eventual game-winner in the 83rd minute.
Marta played Alex Morgan into space on the left flank, where she then sent a cross towards the far post. Rachel Hill received the ball, heading in the ball for a 3-2 edge.
2’ ORL – Sydney Leroux (Chioma Ubogagu)
16’ NJ – Savannah McCaskill
31’ ORL – Sydney Leroux (Christine Nairn)
37’ NJ – Madison Tiernan
83’ ORL Rachel Hill (Alex Morgan)
NJ: Sheridan, Gibbons, Richardson, Freeman, Skroski (Frisbie-55), Dorsey, Lloyd, Killion, Tiernan (Beckie-60), Johnson (Thaisa-82), McCaskill
Subs not used: Casey, Meehan, Stott, Abam
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
ORL: Harris, Pickett, Zadorsky, Monica, Poliana, Kennedy, Nairn (Marta-73), van Egmond (Weatherholt-60), Ubogagu (Hill-60), Morgan, Leroux
Subs Not Used: Kopmeyer, Pressley, Evans, Edmonds
Head Coach: Tom Sermanni
Stats Summary: ORL / NJ
Shots: 20 / 18
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 9
Offside: 4 / 2
45’ NJ – Christina Gibbons (Yellow Card)
75’ ORL – Sydney Leroux
85’ NJ – Carli Lloyd
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Felice
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Janessa Guinn
Saker ShopRites Woman of the Match: Savannah McCaskill