Orlando Pride Earn First-Ever Victory Over the Chicago Red Stars

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Orlando Pride Earn First-Ever Victory
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - MAY 02: The Orlando Pride reacts after winning against the Chicago Red Stars on May 2, 2018 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bridgeview, Illinois (May 2, 2018) — For the first time in franchise history, the Orlando Pride have earned a win over the Chicago Red Stars.

At Toyota Park, the Red Stars saw the return of forward Samantha Kerr. Kerr featured in her second match for the Red Stars, but couldn’t garner any offense.

Meanwhile, Chioma Ubogagu of the Pride is continuing her hot streak.

Orlando Pride Earn First-Ever Victory Over the Chicago Red Stars

Ubogagu scored the opening tally on the road for Orlando in the 28th minute. Assisted by Sydney Leroux, Ubogagu shot the ball right outside of the penalty box, sending it past Alyssa Naeher.

Orlando waited patiently, taking shots at Naeher, until Rachel Hill put away the final goal in the 81st minute.

The play began when Ali Krieger intercepted Lauren Kaskie of Chicago. Krieger’s ball ended up finding Emily van Egmond, who slotted the ball to Hill.

While Chicago stood there claiming Hill was offsides — when she was indeed onside — the forward caught Naeher off guard.

Hill entered the match in the 70th minute for Leroux.

After the match, Pride Head Coach Sermanni said he was “delighted” with the result.

“We knew coming here was always a very tough game,” Sermanni said. “We’ve never won here. Obviously never had a clean sheet, so great result for us. I thought we started a little bit slowly but Chicago were in the ascendency for the first 25, 30 minutes. But I felt that after we scored and we settled down, I felt that we eliminated their opportunities and were committed to the game a little bit more.”

“[It was] a great performance away from home.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Kerr can’t be the only one: Rory Dames, head coach of the Chicago Red Stars, can’t only rely on Samantha Kerr. The Australian forward was the NWSL Player of the Year last year, scoring 17 goals, but Dames has to remember that he has the likes of Sofia Huerta, Julie Ertz and other talented attackers on his roster. If too much pressure is on Kerr, this will be a long season for her.
  2. Chioma Ubogagu still reigns supreme: I’ve said it almost every single week: Chioma Ubogagu isn’t letting the Orlando Pride star-power get the best of her. Arguably, Ubogagu is Orlando’s best player so far this season, scoring three goals in six matches. Two of those goals were in back-to-back matches against Houston and Portland.
  3. Orlando is climbing: After sitting in eighth place in the NWSL just over two weeks ago, the Orlando Pride are now up to fourth. The Pride have to give credit not just to their players, but Tom Sermanni as well. With the reinforcements of Brazilian and Australian players back in uniform, Orlando has all the attack power. The ball is in their court.

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