Written by Zach Bartkus
ORLANDO, FL. – It was the opening game for both the Orlando Pride and Portland Thorns in the 2019 season, played at Orlando City Stadium and the Thorns couldn’t have lived up to their name any better. Portland was a thorn in the Pride’s side all game, letting them get few chances but coming close to conceding a few times. Orlando let the Thorns in a few too many times and it showed on the final scoreline.
In the fourth minute of the match, The Thorns, Christine Sinclair, took a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that was tipped just over the bar by the Pride’s goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris. This would seem to set the tone for the rest of the game, to where the Pride could bend but not break. Through the first 30 minutes of the game, Portland had 13 chances to score but couldn’t convert. On the other half of the field, the Pride had just three true chances.
In the final minute of the first half is where the Pride would hit the breaking point. Sinclair would play a ball right into the feet of Tobin Heath who would lay it off at the top of the six-yard box to Caitlin Foord who easily put the ball into the back of the net to make the score 1-0. Taking that lead into the first half, the Thorns wouldn’t step off the gas at the beginning of the second half. This time it was Foord who assisted Heath on her goal in the 49’. Alex Morgan had a chance for the Pride just nine minutes later but her shot would come off the crossbar and out. Just eight minutes after that, Camila would take another shot for the Pride but it would also come off the post, this time on the left side of the goal frame.
One last opportunity for the Lions to score fell to Kriston Edmonds as a ball dropped right to her feet just 12 yards from the goal. She would sky the ball wide and over the goal and that summed up the game for the Pride, chances not taken. Portland would walk out of Orlando with their first points of the season and rising to first in the NWSL.
The Pride will look to pick up their first points of the season as they had to Cary, North Carolina to take on the reigning NWSL champions, North Carolina Courage. The Pride only get a two-day break as they play this Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET.