Last night the Pride went on the road and for the first time they got a win. the only score of the game was a beautiful goal by Kristen Edmonds who ricocheted the ball off the underside of the top bar and into the net. The assist came from Lianne Sanderson, my favorite punk rock player. The win also put the Pride into second place on the table. I attended the official watch party with The Crown supporters group at The Rogue Pub on Curry Ford Road. If you're ever in the area, check them out, and also duck into the Ocean Sun Brewing Company next door, a great little microbrewery that carries a dozen or so varieties they brew on site, from porters to IPAs.
- Consistent Pressure - The Pride managed to put the Dash defense under consistent pressure all match. It's a refreshing change from watching Orlando City's anemic MLS attack to see a team in purple that knows how to keep the ball in the opponent's end of the pitch and make them scramble to try to stop or clear scoring chances.
- Ashlyn Harris - Our keeper earned her second straight clean sheet with a five save performance on the night. She would likely be the first to share the accolades with her defensive line, which is really starting to play well and anticipate where the opponents will go with the ball to try to block angles and cut off lanes. They're starting to leave the opponents with few places to shoot except straight at Harris, and she's doing a fantastic job of snuffing out those chances.
- Lianne Sanderson - The English Midfielder is proving to have a great eye for finding the right teammate at the right time. She's been involved in several scoring plays this season, in addition to the two goals of her own she has scored at home.
- Kristen Edmonds - Last week Edmonds registered the assist on Alex Morgan's amazing goal at Camping World Stadium. This time, she was on the end of Sanderson's pass and put the ball in the net in the 81st minute to register the only score of the game and give the Pride 3 points to bring back home.
- Officiating - I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I guess I'd have to revoke my fan card if I were always happy with the officiating in any match involving my team. I'm suspicious of referees like Ted Unkel in MLS who hand out yellow cards like an acid dealer at a Grateful Dead concert (look it up on Google, you spoiled millennial ingrates), and I'm equally suspicious of referees who don't book anyone. I didn't think yeterday's match was any more or any less physical than other NWSL matches I have seen, but head referee Greg Dopka kept his cards in his pocket the whole match.
- First Road Win - I'm not sure if fans understand just how important this win was last night. The Pride play four road matches in a row before returning to Camping World Stadium on June 23 to face the Houston Dash yet again. The team have struggled in their first few road games to come away with points, and breaking that streak to start an extended series of away games is key. This will give the team a boost of confidence to see that they can win away from home.
- First Trip for Burkenroad - Newly signed Forward Cristina Burkenroad made her first trip with the team. The 22 year-old California native didn't see the pitch during the match, but she adds more depth and more options for coach Tom Sermanni. And one thing it seems certain about is that Sermanni is not going to be shy about giving everyone on his squad a chance to play. I would be very surprised if we don't see Burkenroad on the pitch before the end of this stretch of road games.
- First Minutes for Jamia Fields - The forward saw her first minutes as a member of the Pride on Friday night, coming on in the 76th minute to relieve Jasmyne Spencer, who was getting battered by Houston all evening. For those playing at home, this makes 18 players the Pride have put on the pitch so far this season.
- Fifth Player to Score - Edmonds' goal makes her the fifth player on the roster to score a goal this season. So far Lianne Sanderson and Alex Morgan are tied to lead the team with two goals each, while Edmonds, Steph Catley, and Sarah "Apple" Hagen each have one. In addition to these scorers, Sanderson becomes the fourth player to register an assist, joining Alex Morgan, Steph Catley, and Kristen Edmonds.
Did you watch last night's match? What else did you see that was worthy of mention? Let me know in the comments below!