BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Orlando Pride lost 2-1 to host Chicago Red Stars on Saturday afternoon.
Alanna Kennedy scored her third goal of the season in the 93rd minute, but the Pride were unable to complete the late-game rally.
Chicago opened the scoring in the 29th minute, with Sofia Huerta sending a ball over the top of the Pride backline, finding target forward Christen Press behind the defense. Though Aubrey Bledsoe attempted to come off of her line and steal the ball, Press took a move around the Pride goalkeeper to make it 1-0 just two minutes before the first half hydration break, the Orlando Pride said.
Press doubled Chicago's lead seven minutes into the second half in similar fashion, beating Bledsoe on a break for her second goal of the match.
"It was the kind of game we expected; We knew it was going to be tight, we knew it was going to be tough. We know what Chicago do well and they did it today by scoring two goals despite our work on the training field and in the video room this week," Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said.
With Orlando pressing forward late in the match, Kennedy found herself on the benefiting end of a Rachel Hill cross, slamming in her third goal of the season a little after the 93rd minute.
The Orlando Pride said Kennedy's goal marked the first goal the Pride have scored against the Red Stars in Club history after finishing all three prior meetings with Chicago with 1-0 losses.
"I think getting the first goal was critical in the game and we had a great chance to equalize and go [into halftime] at one each," Sermanni said. "[Going down is] difficult against a team like Chicago, who I would say are defensively the best team in the league. I was happy with the effort of our players, we could have done a couple of things better and I think had we gotten that goal earlier then we would have still been very much in the game."
In two weeks, the Orlando Pride host the Chicago Red Stars in their next match at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Orlando City Stadium.