FC Gold Pride kicked off their season on the road against the St. Louis Athletica on Sunday April 11 with a tough 2-0 loss. Both goals came from Athletica forward Eniola Aluko, and both were assisted by midfielder Shannon Boxx.
FC Gold Pride worked hard to get a goal first with kelley O'Hara on the field, but none of the chances they had on goal were good enough or finished. Instead, Eniola Aluko got the Athletica on the board first, about 5 minutes before halftime in the 39th minute. Shannon Boxx stole a pass in the middle of the field from FC Gold Pride. She quickly passed the ball up to Aluko, who was making a run down the field and got to the end of that pass. Her shot went past Nicole Barnhart.
In the second half, FC Gold Pride came out strong, and energetic. Tiffeny Milbrett created good pieces of offense throughout the second half, but the team couldn't get the ball into the back of the net. They had their chances, but weren't able to get through the St. Louis defense and Hope Solo.
"We came out tentative in the first half and it took awhile to find a rhythm," said Pride Head Coach Albertin Montoya. "But we came out in the second half with more energy and created a lot of opportunities, but unfortunately couldn't put the ball in the back of the net."
As Athletica kept attacking, their chances of scoring another goal grew. In the 60th minute, they earned a corner kick, which was taken by Aya Miyama. Shannon Boxx found the ball and headed the ball towards the goal. Eniola Aluko nodded the ball into the goal for her second of the day.
Athletica had Marta covered the entire game, which made it hard for the Pride to attack well, as she is their main play-maker and goal-scorer. Hope Solo made six saves to earn a shutout, and the best chance Pride had came from Milbrett.
From this game, we now know what we need to improve on, and we'll be ready for next weekend," said Montoya.
FC Gold Pride returns to the Bay to host the reigning WPS champion Sky Blue FC in their home opener on April 17 at 7pm at Castro Valley High School Athletic Stadium.