The day of Khano Smith and his Orlando Pride’s road game against Sky Blue FC, the coaching staff had a message for rookie forward Rachel Hill - It’s time to score.
“We actually had a meeting with Rachel today,” coach Tom Sermanni the Pride’s 3-2 win at Sky Blue FC. “Assistant coach Smith said, ‘You know, you’ve given us this, this, this and this and done really well for us. The only thing you haven’t done yet is score a goal and we want you to score a goal tonight.’”
Since it was a mid-week game, Hill didn’t start and ended up only spending 23 minutes on the pitch. But that was enough time to earn her first goal of the season, giving the Pride the lead off a header with four minutes to go in the team’s comeback win over Sky Blue FC.
“Rachel, I thought had a great game when she came on,” Sermanni said. “She threw herself in there to score the goal as well. I wouldn’t have picked her scoring the goal with her head, but it just shows a lot about her character, her commitment.”
Hill, who joined the team in May, has already had a big impact on the field for Orlando. She has started in three games this season and, after coming close to scoring several times in past games, she finally broke through to show an additional way she can contribute to the Pride.
“We kind of felt she was on the verge because in the games she’s played so far. … She’s been in goal-scoring positions and the goalkeeper has saved them or she just hasn’t got it in the back of the net,” Sermanni said. “We felt that it was close and she’s been threatening, so did I know she was gonna get it tonight? No, but I’m delighted she did.”