hunt for the playoffs, Orlando Pride routs past Washington Spirit

Pride v Spirit -2 (4 of 19)

Marta, Camila and Alex Morgan led the Orlando Pride (6-6-5, 23 points) to a pivotal 3-0 win against the Washington Spirit (4-9-3, 15 points) on Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 4,273 at Orlando City Soccer Stadium.

“Obviously a terrific win for us and a real clean-sheet which is fantastic. Difficult in the first half because they really high pressed us,” shared Pride head coach Tom Sermanni after the game. “I was really delighted with our second half performance with how we played, how clinical we were with our finishing, and then how well we managed the game after that. I thought it was an extremely good performance the second half. We also spoke to our international players the other day and we spoke about our big players coming out big this time of the season, and it’s great tonight because that is exactly what happened.”

After finishing the first half with 10 shot attempts, Morgan linked up with Marta, who then dodged Washington’s goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe in the 52nd minute, giving Orlando a 1-0 lead. Marta now holds the Pride’s single-game record for most shots.

“She is a high profile athlete, and I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside with her before, so I know her quality,” Marta said about playing with Morgan. “Each game she’s been improving so this partnership has been fundamental, because we can do our job at the highest level possible and that’s beneficial to our team.”

In the 57th minute, Camila takes advantage of the wide open goal as Labbe comes off her line, netting the Pride’s second goal of the match.

Six minutes before exiting the game in the 64th minute, Morgan capitalized off of a Stephanie Catley assist, scoring Orlando’s third and last goal of the match. After tonight’s goal, Alex has netted a goal in all three of the last Pride home games.

This was the third time both teams met this season, and fifth overall. Tonight’s victory marked a first for Orlando against the Spirit. Their prior encounters for the season on April 22 and July 8 ended with a 1-1 and 2-2 draw respectively.

Orlando is now tied with their upcoming opponent Sky Blue FC with 23 points, and one slot below of playoff contention. They will face each other this Saturday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Here are Tuesday’s highlights: 

(Photo by Adrian Hernandez / Orlando Soccer Journal) 

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