Coming into their game tonight, the Orlando Pride were winless at home thus far into the season. After a rain delay that lasted 50 minutes, the Pride finally notched one in the win column, coming away with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Spirit in front of an announced attendance of 3,703 at Exploria Stadium.
“I’m pleased with all of the girl’s attitude and pleased they got the win for them because they commit everything to what we’re trying to do.” Head Coach Marc Skinner said after the match. “I’m really, really pleased and proud of them, but we’ve still got loads and loads of work to do.”
A goal was scored for the visitors in the 7th minute for the second straight game, this time from Bayley Feist, put the visiting Spirit (5-3-3, 18 points) up early on.
Orlando equalized in the 21st minute when Chioma Ubogagu ran onto a through pass from Joanna Boyles, rounding former Pride keeper Aubrey Bledsoe and scored into an open net, very similar to her goal last week. The goal marked her third tally in three games.
Five minutes later, Orlando took the lead through a double effort by Rachel Hill. The Pride forward intercepted the ball in her attacking third, made a darting run through on goal, which Emily van Egmond was able to find, and Hill blasted the one-time shot into the roof of the net, giving Orlando a 2-1 cushion.
That cushion would not last, however, as Cheyna Matthews equalized less than four minutes later, after a long ball from Tori Huster found the speeding forward, who beat Pride defender Shelina Zadorsky on the run and tucked the ball past Hayley Kopmeyer for her third goal of the season.
Both teams went into the break tied, but that scoreline didn’t last too long. Just three minutes into the second half, Erin Greening crossed a ball into the box, finding Marta, who took a touch, settled the ball and calmly curled it past Bledsoe to restore the Pride’s one-goal lead.
The 3-2 score would hold for another half an hour until Marta struck again, this time capitalizing on a Sam Staab error, which played the Brazilian in on goal. The former world player of the year then deftly chipped Bledsoe to give the Pride a two-goal lead and a brace for Orlando’s number 10.
Washington would pull a goal back in stoppage time thanks to Jordan Di Biasi, but the final whistle blew just seconds later, marking Orlando’s first win at home of the season.
Up next for Orlando
Against the Portland Thorns on Sunday, July 14 at Providence Park at 3:00 p.m. ET.
7′ WAS – Bayley Feist (Cheyna Matthews)
21′ ORL – Chioma Ubogagu (Joanna Boyles)
26′ ORL – Rachel Hill (Emily van Egmond)
30′ WAS – Cheyna Matthews (Tori Huster)
48′ ORL – Marta
78′ ORL – Marta
90+4′ WAS – Jordan Di Biasi (Ashley Hatch)
How the Pride lined up
Orlando Pride XI: Haley Kopmeyer, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley (c), Shelina Zadorsky, Erin Greening, Alanna Kennedy (c), Emily van Egmond, Joana Boyles, Chioma Ubogagu, Rachel Hill, Marta.
Orlando Pride Bench: Lainey Burdett, Camila, Abby Elinsky, Danica Evans, Marisa Viggiano, Dani Weatherholt, Morgan Reid
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