Sky Blue FC (2-8-2, 8 points) fall 1-0 to Orlando at Exploria Stadium after an early goal from rookie midfielder Marisa Viggiano in the 23rd minute.
The Pride came out aggressive and pressing high earning a free kick in the 3rd minute for their first chance on goal. After the ball was sent in and cleared out by Sky Blue, Orlando defender Erin Greening sent a lofted ball into the left side of the box, that fell to forward Rachel Hill and ripped a low shot just wide of the near post.
Orlando had a few more chances in the 5th minute, starting with Orlando defender Toni Pressley sending a long ball down the field to midfielder Chioma Ubogagu. Ubogagu crossed it over to Hill in the box and it was cleared out by Caprice Dydasco but just as far as the oncoming Marta. Marta hit a volley towards goal but was denied by Dydasco.
Sky Blue’s first chance came in the 13th minute as Paige Monaghan played the ball wide to Gina Lewandowski. The pass was deflected by Ubogagu but Lewandowski collected it and sent a pass through the box to Elizabeth Eddy. Eddy lined up the shot and one-timed it at goal but was blocked by Greening and then cleared out by defender Alanna Kennedy.
Ubogagu continued to be an attacking threat as she almost found the back of the net in the 18th minute. Ubogagu chested down a ball sent in by Orlando midfielder Marisa Viggiano, turned and sent a shot just wide of the far-right post.
The final chance of the first half for Sky Blue started with a ball sent up by Julie James Doyle to Imani Dorsey, but Pressley cut off Dorsey in the box and cleared the ball out.
Orlando went up 1-0 in the 23rd minute from a goal scored by Viggiano. With space on the left flank, Viggiano cut in towards goal and fired a shot off at the 18-yard line just passed the diving Kailen Sheridan.
Sky Blue defense was called to action in the 49th minute. With a scramble in the box, Orlando midfielder Joanna Boyles had her shot blocked by Dydasco but the deflection fell to Pressley who quickly put another shot on frame. Sheridan was able to track the shot for the save. In the 60th minute Sheridan came up big again to keep the game at a one goal deficit. Marta played the ball into space on the right side of the field towards Hill who collected and had room to run towards goal. Hill sent the shot on frame but with a diving outstretched arm, Sheridan pushed it away and Monaghan cleared it out.
The game finished out with one last chance by Orlando in the 94th minute by Emily van Egmond, who had a one-on-one chance at goal in the 6-yard box but sailed her shot wide.
Join Sky Blue at home on Wednesday, July 24, against Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. ET for the World Cup Return Night as we honor Estelle Johnson, Carli Lloyd, and Kailen Sheridan for representing their countries at the World Cup. This game is anticipated to be Lloyd’s first game back after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
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