Battered and Bruised Sky Blue Dismantled by Orlando

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Sky Blue, with a chance to stop a two-game losing streak, three-game winless streak while leaking goals, went to Orlando and left embarrassed on Saturday night.

The Orlando Pride did nearly everything right, playing an attractive, attacking style to win, 5-0, in National Women’s Soccer League . The Pride (7-6-5, 26 points) moved into fourth place ahead of Seattle, which plays North Carolina Sunday night. Orlando has won four straight home games — tying a club record.

The Pride scored once in the opening minutes of the first half and again in the closing minutes to take a 2-0 halftime lead. And then the Pride scored three times in a 13-minute span start the second half. Ashlyn Harris had to make a couple of key saves to earn her first shutout since May 2016.

The only thing didn’t go the Pride’s way was Kailen Sheridan’s save of Maddie Evans’ penalty kick

Marta and Alex Morgan did a majority of the damage with two goals and an assist each, while Dani Weatherholt scored the other goal on her first shot of the season and her first professional goal. The two international players worked well with each other and Jasmyne Spencer all night, creating havoc and making the depleted Sky Blue defense work even harder.

Sky Blue (7-8-2, 23) was without Kelley O’Hara, Leah Galton and Erin Simon. Their defense has been suspect over the last month, allowing 14 goals in the last three games. Playing from behind didn’t help Sam Kerr still had good chances: four shots, including two headers But she went long stretches without seeing the ball.

 

The second half was all Orlando.

Three minutes in, Marta won a ball from Madison Tiernan and Daphne Corboz and sent a pass to Spencer in the middle of the field. Spencer threaded a pass to Morgan, who made a diagonal run past Pearce. Morgan scored on another left-footed shot to the far post.

Five minutes later, Spencer set up Marta with a strong run down the right side and a cross that Sheridan got her hands on but couldn’t control. Marta was there to head the ball home.

In the 58th minute, Morgan set up Marta for her second of the night and 11th of the year. Morgan hit a ball from just behind the midfield stripe and found the Brazilian in stride. She had no trouble in scoring on a left-footed shot.