Orlando Pride continue to stay undefeated at home, defeat Western New York Flash, 1-0
Photo Courtesy of Bernie Walls-VAVEL USA

Orlando Pride continue to stay undefeated at home, defeat Western New York Flash, 1-0

Led by second half substitution Lianne Sanderson and USWNT's Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride notched its third home win of the early NWSL season against Western New York Flash.

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Orlando,FL.- On Saturday night, Orlando Pride took on Western New York Flash and came away with all three points in front of 7,841 fans at Camping World Stadium.  With the win, Orlando continues its undefeated home campaign by boasting an impressive 3-0-0 record. At home so far, Orlando has two shutouts in three games and only allowed one goal.

As of Saturday night, all ten National Women’s Soccer League sides sit at five games played. After five games, the Pride sit in fourth place with nine points, while Western New York Flash find themselves sitting on six points, good for eighth place.

Samantha Mewis spearheads impressive first half for Western New York Flash against Orlando Pride

The first half featured Western New York creating the dangerous of the opportunities.

For the Flash, the offense ran mainly through Samantha Mewis. Mewis, playing in a box to box midfielder role in the Flash’s 4-3-3 formation, continued to make excellent runs that left Orlando’s defense scrambling.

In the 26th minute, Mewis made an excellent run from the midfield that caught Orlando’s defense napping. The 23-year old brought the ball down to the touchline and crossed it low to a wide-open Lynn Williams, who was six yards out from net. William’s resulting one-timed shot on the open net hit the crossbar and bounced away from danger.

The missed shot from Williams would be one of a few missed chances for the Flash to get on the board in the first half.

When the whistle blew for the first half, despite the Flash having many excellent chances on net, the score still stood at 0-0.

Lianne Sanderson helps Orlando Pride flip narrative against Western New York Flash

The second half featured a different narrative as the Pride came out looking more aggressive on the ball. Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni decided to make a halftime substitution as he inserted forward Lianne Sanderson for forward Sarah Hagen. Sanderson’s fresh legs as well as ability to provide service to Morgan and the offense were enough to change the course of the game for Orlando.

Despite coming out strong in the second half, the Pride were unable to break the draw until 79th minute. There, Kristen Edmonds, who received the ball from Sanderson in the midfield, sent an over the top through ball to Morgan. The World Class striker saw Western New York goalkeeper, Sabrina D’Angelo, off her line and hit a beautiful volley over her from 25 yards out for the 1-0 Pride lead.

Photo Courtesy of Bernie Wells-VAVEL USA
Photo Courtesy of Bernie Wells-VAVEL USA

Western New York would not go away quietly in the final ten minutes of the game as they piled forward in an attempt to get an equalizer. Their efforts though would be severely hurt in the 90th minute, when Flash Abby Erceg received her second yellow card of the game and subsequent red card on a tough foul on Sanderson.

After five minutes of stoppage time, the Flash, playing with ten players, fell 1-0 to Orlando at the end of full time. 

Where does each team head to from here?

Orlando will continue its inaugural season when it heads to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on Houston Dash on Friday, May 20th. Western New York will look to refocus as they head home to Sahlen's Stadium to take on Sky Blue FC.

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