SANDY, UTAH (July 14, 2018) — To say Laura Harvey is upset with NWSL officiating is an understatement.
Harvey did not change her opinion on the penalty kick decision made by referee Reyna Fonseca. The center referee called a foul on Utah Royals FC midfielder Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir against Alanna Kennedy.
Laura Harvey Makes Voice Known After Utah Royals Loss to Orlando Pride
Alex Morgan lined up the penalty kick for the Orlando Pride, scoring it past Abby Smith. Smith took her slow, easy time backing up to the net, an attempt to distract and frustrate Morgan.
However, despite Morgan’s frustrations, the attempt at distraction didn’t work.
Morgan scored and the tide switched to favor the Pride at Rio Tinto Stadium. After the match, Harvey said that it “wasn’t a corner first of all” and if that was a correct penalty kick call, “I am not really sure how the run five minutes earlier by Gunny wasn’t one.”
“I mean, the ball is nowhere near Alanna,” Harvey said. “It was minimal contact and it doesn’t change what Alanna is trying to do. So, no, I wouldn’t change my opinion.”
“I’m really delighted by the performance and the way we were able to bounce back from Wednesday’s disappointment,” Sermanni said. “This was an important game for us to win, and we showed great energy and discipline to go out there and get the result. Our work ethic was first-class. Very happy to head home with all three points.”
After Morgan’s goal, Kristen Edmonds scored the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute. Defender Ali Krieger assisted the goal.
Amy Rodriguez scored the Royals’ lone goal in the 8th minute.
“A goal before halftime is really tough to take,” Corsie said. “It’s been a tough week and when those things go against you, it can hit you harder. We have to try to respond better than we did. Then we lost the goal in the second half. We just couldn’t fight back.”
“It was disappointing, but we will keep going.”
Krieger Hits 100 in NWSL
In other news for the Orlando Pride, the match was the 100th NWSL appearance for Ali Krieger. The defender started her league career with the Washington Spirit, where she remained from 2013-16.
“That’s the type of legacy I’ve always wanted to leave,” Krieger said. “If I work as hard as I can to be successful, I think someone is gonna see that and it’s going to make an impact on one of my teammates, or a younger player who’s going to fill my shoes one day.”
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) July 14, 2018
- Time for a goalkeeper switch? Laura Harvey didn’t hide her displeasure with Orlando’s second goal, either. Harvey noted that it was one that should have never gone in. She continued to say that her goalkeeper, Abby Smith, should have “let defenders defend.” Is it time to give Nicole Barnhart, a longtime veteran, a shot in goal? Or, will Harvey keep Smith in net for the playoff push?
- A big-time negative streak: While teams are fighting for draws and victories, the Royals have dropped their last three matches. Their next task isn’t easy, either. The team will face the North Carolina Courage at the RioT. While Utah beat North Carolina, 1-0, on June 16, this Royals team might have to watch their backs.
- Harvey has a point: While not all losses can be blamed on officiating, the NWSL certainly has some of the worst cases of bad officiating. The Royals loss against Orlando was no different. Harvey is right that the penalty kick shouldn’t have been called. The only way it should’ve been called was if Jónsdóttir got one too.
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) July 15, 2018
ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 24: Utah Royals FC goalkeeper Abby Smith (1) clears the ball during the NWSL soccer match between the Orlando Pride and the Utah Royals on March 24, 2018 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)