The National Women’s Soccer League was set to start their season on Saturday, but some Orlando Pride players have cost the club at least the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.
On Monday, the Orlando Pride announced that several players and a staff member had tested for positive for COVID-19 and that they have withdrawn from the Challenge Cup. Then on Tuesday, the Guardian reported that several younger Pride players caught the virus after going to Orlando bars and nightclubs despite social distancing protocols.
Twitter detectives have alleged from Venmo transactions and Instagram posts that former Buffaloes Taylor Kornieck and Erin Greening were two of those players who may have tested positive (this does not mean they have tested positive). They appeared to go out to a ladies’ night at a college bar that has since been stripped of their liquor license due to 41 positive COVID tests linked to the location.
Charlottesville news source NBC29.com has reported that former Virginia Cavaliers Emily Sonnett, Courtney Petersen, and Phoebe McClernon may have been three of the Pride players who tested positive. Petersen and McClernon were linked to Kornieck over Venmo on June 6th, the night in question, sending money for ladies’ night drinks.
Kornieck was the third overall pick in the NWSL draft this past February. The 6’1 midfielder was a two-time All-American, the all-time school leader in points and served as team captain. She was the highest draft pick in Pride history. Greening was a defender for the Buffs and was a third round pick for Orlando in the 2019 NWSL Draft.
The Pride have since taken precautions to limit the spread of the virus. The players who tested positive, all of whom asymptomatic, have received medical treatment and will begin a 14-day isolation period.