Seattle Reign FC (2-2-0, 6 pts) fell 0-2 to the Orlando Pride (2-2-0, 6 pts) tonight at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. in front of a crowd of 8,211. The loss is the second for Reign FC this season, having fallen 1-2 to Sky Blue FC in its home opener on April 17. The loss leaves Reign FC tied with Orlando and the Western New York Flash on six points, good for 5th in the table.
On a sunny, humid evening, possession swayed during the opening minutes of the match, with both teams working in the backfield as they attempted to break each other down. Orlando got on the board in the 11th minute when forward Alex Morgan chased down a long pass from defender Laura Alleway near the Reign FC end line. Morgan then sent a cross to forward Sarah Hagen at the mouth of the goal, where she headed it out of goalkeeper Hope Solo’s reach.
The first of Reign FC’s limited opportunities to equalize came off a corner kick from defender Lauren Barnes in the 21st minute. Midfielder Beverly Yanez leapt over her defender to meet the ball, but she drove it over the left side of the frame. Possession favored Orlando for the remainder of the first half, with Seattle rarely appearing to be a threat: Reign FC managed only one shot in the first half.
Returning from the break down 0-1, Reign FC continued its struggles to maintain possession. In the 66th minute, a collision with Pride midfielder Jasmyne Spencer brought down defender Kendall Fletcher. Fletcher was unable to continue, requiring Reed to move to right back. Michelle Cruz then entered the match to take up Reed’s post at forward.
Orlando had several opportunities to extend its lead, including an attempt from defender Steph Catley in the 74th minute, who ran onto a great ball over the top and fired a dangerous shot off the crossbar.
In the 82nd minute, Reign FC saw its best chance to even the score with a dangerous shot from Bev Yanez from the top of the 18. As the ball soared towards the top left corner of the frame, Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris pushed the ball into the crossbar. The ball fell in front of an onrushing Michelle Cruz, who chipped it over the goal before colliding with Harris.
In the 86th minute, Morgan and Barnes tangled in Seattle territory, with Barnes left on the pitch while Morgan drove into the box and fired a shot which Solo blocked as she rushed off her line. The deflected ball fell in front of Sanderson at the top of the box, who quickly released a shot which passed Solo and defender Rachel Corsie into open net, extending Orlando’s lead to 2-0.
After four minutes of stoppage time, the match ended at 0-2, sending Reign FC to its second defeat of the season.
Reign FC will return to Seattle on Monday morning to begin preparations for its next match. On May 14, at 7:00 p.m. PT, Reign FC will host regional rivals Portland Thorns FC in the first of four regular season matches. Tickets start at just $18 and are available at reignfc.com/thorns or by calling (855) REIGN-FC.
Match Report Match: Orlando Pride vs. Seattle Reign FC
Date: May 8, 2016
Venue: Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 86 degrees, 31% humidity – sunny