The Orlando Pride (2-3-3, 9 points) won its second game of the season by defeating the Boston Breakers (2-4-2, 8 points) 2-0 on Saturday night at the Orlando City Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 5,185 fans.
Marta opened the scoring after converting a penalty in the ninth minute when she was brought down by Boston goalkeeper Abby Smith. It was Marta’s third goal in seven games this season, and the first penalty awarded and scored for the Pride.
“First ever penalty after 28 [games] in the NWSL, things are looking up,” Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said.
With an intention of keeping the center of the field really tight, Sermanni, made some changes to the starting line up. The team responded positively by playing great defense and constant offense despite the extreme weather conditions and facing a difficult opponent.
“I was really delighted with the way we started the game tonight, we showed real intent and we were rewarded for that by the two early goals,” coach Sermani said. “It was great to have a clean sheet.”
The second goal for the Pride came short after the first one. Forward, Jasmyne Spencer doubled the lead 2-0 in the 13th minute of the game, after receiving an assist from Camila and tying Marta with three goals this season.
“Camila is a great player and she does great vision so every time she gets on the ball I just try to get in position,” Spencer said. “I always know she os going straight for goal either for herself or looking for me or anybody else.”
With the Pride’s regular goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris, out due to a hip injury, Aubrey Bledsoe was in charge of the goalie on Saturday, and she said the shutout came as the result of complete team effort.
“The team just played incredible today, every player on the field just gave it their all and looked really solid,” Bledsoe said. “We were waiting for this breakthrough performance and it’s been a long time coming.”
The next game for the Pride will take place on June 24 at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.
(Photo by Adrian Hernandez / Orlando Soccer Journal)
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