Orlando Pride (6-4-4, 22 points) fell 2-1 to the Houston Dash (4-5-5, 17 points) on Wednesday night in the first match of a three-game homestand. Forward Alex Morgan scored the Pride’s lone goal of the match, her third of the season.
“I thought the first 30 minutes tonight were the best we’ve played all season; the best we’ve played for a long time. We were incredibly dominant in the game and probably should have come into halftime in a significant lead and finished the game. The same in the second half. But, it’s a lesson tonight that you learn. In soccer, sometimes, one-nil is never safe. We didn’t get that second goal to finish [Houston] off to then ease the pressure on us,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “I can’t really fault the performance except the fact that we didn’t capitalize on the chances that we created and we got punished for being a little bit sloppy a couple of times.”
Morgan opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, capitalizing on a mistake from the Dash defense. After Christine Nairn sent a cross into the penalty area, a backwards header by Houston’s Clare Polkinghorne fell to the feet of Shelina Zadorsky. The defender slotted the ball across the goal-mouth for an easy tap-in for Morgan. It was her first home goal of the season.
The Dash responded late in the match, with Kealia Ohai lofting a difficult ball in that got past Ashlyn Harris in the 79th minute. The visitors went ahead for good just four minutes later after Sofia Huerta scored on a penalty kick that was awarded for a handball in the box.
The Pride posted a season high 21 shots in the match, including a Club record 15 shots in the first half. Morgan, in her 75th regular season NWSL appearance, had an opportunity to put the Pride up 1-0 in the 13th minute, but her penalty kick effort was denied by the goalpost despite fooling Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell.
The Pride return to Orlando City Stadium in just three days, hosting the North Carolina Courage for the second time this season. The match will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be featured as the Lifetime Game of the Week. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.