Orlando- The Orlando Pride are still on the hunt for their first win in the 2019 NWSL season after falling scoreless to the North Carolina Courage 3-0. The Pride struggled in the final third of the match and made a few mistakes defensively that the Courage capitalized on. Kristin Hamilton netted her first career hat trick for the Courage scoring in the 59th, 66th , 85th minutes that remained unanswered by the Pride. The Courage snapped a four-game losing streak with a now 3-3-2 record and 12 points and seat in the number 3 seat in the eastern conference standings.
“If you watch the game you will see the truth in the matter.” Stated Pride Head coach Mark Skinner during his opening statement of post conference. “We competed with the champions for 60 minutes, and then a mistake and all of a sudden it spirals. They had to attack from deep because they can counter attack because we need to get a goal. Up into that point I was really proud of the girls and the effort that they put in, it’s just always going to be a matter quality and that the thing that has to improve. So, I’m pleased with them and what they give for the shirt but now it’s a quality shot, both boxes need work and that is what we are here to do.”
The Pride struggled keeping possession during the match-up with the Courage this past Saturday night with only 41% and 59.6% passing accuracy. The Pride had 285 complete passes compared to North Carolina with a total of 413 for the 94-minute match. North Carolina dominated the pitch and after coming back from half-time, what it seemed to be mis communication on the field defensively by the Pride, Kristen Hamilton scored a lone goal in the 59th minute after a cross in that was initially blocked by Pride goalie Haley Kopmeyer.
Forward for the Pride, Rachel Hill, mentioned her frustrations and hopefulness in post-game conference. “We’re getting better each game, obviously sucks to lose and to put it simply we need to score goals and we need to not let goals in. I think we are getting better and better each week. We are staying positive we’re doing what we’re told; we’re trying our game plan; we’re sticking to it. Everyone’s heads are up so given time we will get there, but it is a bit frustrating for now.”i
Rachel Hill is in her third year of the NWSL and this is her first year as a consistent starter for the Orlando Pride. Hill had three attempts at the goal, none of which was on target and mentioned in post-conference of the need for her as well as the other players to have more confidence when handling the ball. “I think on the ball we need to stay more composed, be comfortable with the ball at our feet…”
PRIDE: The next two weeks off before facing the Houston Dash on the road at the BBVA Compass Stadium. Next home game appearance will be June 30th against the Chicago Red Stars @5pm.
COURAGE: At home June 15th against the Portland Thorns.