Rachel Hill Scores Game-winner, 1st Professional Goal in Win Over Sky Blue FC

The Orlando Pride steal a game in comeback fashion, as rookie Rachel Hill scores her first professional goal.

Orlando Pride forward Rachel Hill passes the ball during a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dash at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, June 24, 2017. (Photo by Victor Tan / New Day Review)
(Photo by Victor Tan / New Day Review)

Match Recap

For the Orland Pride, regaining momentum after a 2-0 shutout at home to the Houston Dash seemed like the most appropriate response. In Wednesday night’s matchup with Sky Blue FC, a late game-winner by Rachel Hill helped the Pride (4-4-3, 15 points) take back some of that momentum, as the Central Florida side beat Sky Blue (5-6-1, 16 points) 3-2 at Yurcak Field.

Tied at 2-2 in the 86th minute, Pride forward Marta Vieira da Silva waited for left-back Steph Catley to dart toward the end-line before sending her a leading back-heel pass. From just outside the left part of Sky Blue’s box, Catley then sent in a high cross to the back-post where Hill leapt for a headed game-winner and her first professional goal.

Pride forward Chioma Ubogagu got the scoring started early with a solo effort inside Sky Blue’s box. Right-back Kristen Edmonds first led Ubogagu into the right part of Sky Blue’s box where center-back Mandy Freeman met her. Ubogagu managed to stab the ball away from the challenging Freeman, took a touch and sent in a left-footed strike for her second goal of the season.

Sky Blue responded shortly after, as Sky Blue midfielder Daphne Corboz drew a foul on center-back Ali Krieger inside the Pride’s box in the 19th minute. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe kept her team in the lead, though, as she dove to her left for one of her five saves on the night.

Bledsoe made another stunning save in the 34th minute when Sky Blue forward Sam Kerr took a strike from just outside the top-right part of Orlando’s box. Her shot on goal nearly escaped the vertical reach of Bledsoe, who tipped it just enough to hit the crossbar.

Orlando lost its lead in the 45th minute after Kerr drew her team’s second penalty kick of the night. Despite Bledsoe guessing correctly, right-back Kelley O’Hara scored the equalizer.

Kerr started the second half with an exciting bicycle-kick goal in the 46th minute. Forward Maya Hayes tracked the ball to the left end-line before chipping the ball toward Kerr in the middle of the box for a shot that went just over the head of Catley.

Marta equalized in the 77th minute when Freeman attempted a clear. Instead, her effort tipped the ball to a waiting Marta, who took a one-touch, left-footed strike for her sixth goal of the season.

Woman of the Match: Marta Vieira da Silva

Marta scored her sixth goal of the season, so far giving her the second-most goals in the National Women’s Soccer League. She was efficient and tactical in her shot-taking, recording four shots (four on goal). The Brazilian scored the equalizer off a bad touch and was a secondary assister in the game-winner.

What’s next?

Orlando hosts the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday at 5 p.m. That will be followed by an Orlando City B home match against FC Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m.

Post-game Interviews


NDR Notes

  • Hill scored her first goal of her professional career.
  • Pride head coach Tom Sermanni maintained his 4-2-3-1 formation in the Sky Blue win. It has so far yielded three wins in the last four games.
  • Ubogagu played sparingly before her start in Wednesday’s win. Before Wednesday, she played 100 of the possible 360 minutes over the last four games.
  • Midfielder Dani Weatherholt made her first appearance since playing 72 minutes in the loss to Sky Blue on May 27. She played 82 minutes her start on Wednesday.
  • Forward Jamia Fields saw significant time again after playing just 29 minutes over the last three games. Fields played 67 minutes in her start up top.
  • Ubogagu scored her second goal of the season.


Time Team Goal-scorer Assisted by
11’ Orlando Pride Chioma Ubogagu n/a
45’ Sky Blue FC Kelley O’Hara PENALTY
46’ Sky Blue FC Sam Kerr Maya Hayes
77’ Orlando Pride Marta Vieira da Silva n/a
86’ Orlando Pride Rachel Hill Steph Catley

Statistics and Starting Lineups

Goals Assists Shots Shots on Goal Possession %
Sky Blue FC 2 1 11 7 50.1%
Orlando Pride 3 1 14 5 49.9%

Sky Blue FC starting XI (4-5-1): Kailen Sheridan (GK); Kayla Mills, Mandy Freeman, Christie Pierce (C), Kelley O’Hara; Taylor Lytle, Raquel Rodriguez, Sarah Killion, Daphne Corboz, Maya Hayes; Sam Kerr

Orlando Pride starting XI (4-2-3-1): Aubrey Bledsoe (GK); Steph Catley, Toni Pressley, Ali Krieger (C), Kristen Edmonds; Alanna Kennedy, Dani Weatherholt; Camila Martins Pereira, Marta Vieira da Silva, Chioma Ubogagu; Jamia Fields


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