Washington Spirit downs Orlando Pride in penultimate game of regular season

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Photo: Terrance Coakley / Orlando Soccer Journal

The Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit were without their international star players, but that didn’t matter much as the visiting Spirit stamped a 3-0 victory over the Pride Saturday night in front of an announced attendance of 6,054 at Exploria Stadium.

“I just feel like we didn’t want it more than them,” said Pride captain Kristen Edmonds. “They wanted it and they came to our backyard and beat us, and it didn’t seem like we were threatening to win that game at all and it just wasn’t good enough for us tonight.”

Ashley Hatch opened the scoring in the fifth minute after converting an uncontested shot from outside the box, curling it towards the top-left corner of the net, giving the Spirit the 1-0 lead.

In the 52nd minute, a clearance bounced off Jordan Di Biasi’s face, landing at Danica Evans, who shot the ball from close range high over the crossbar, giving Orlando its first real chance of scoring in the game.

Lainey Burdett’s crucial save in the 58th minute denied the Spirit a second goal when Tiffany McCarty’s shot from long distance was tipped over the crossbar by the Pride goalkeeper.

Burdett made another save in the 62nd minute after stopping another strike from long distance from Tori Huster.

Moments later, however, Crystal Thomas doubled the lead for Washington after making a run down the right before striking the ball past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Tiffany McCarty made it 3-0 for the Spirit after her long-distant strike went past Burdett in the 85th minute.

Sydney Leroux, who made her first appearance of the season for the Pride last week, entered in the 75th minute for Claire Emslie.

Both teams were without their international stars, who were with their respective national teams during this week’s FIFA break. Saturday’s game was the postponed match that was originally supposed to take place on Aug. 31.

Saturday’s loss extended the Pride’s winless run to six games. Orlando’s last victory came on Aug. 21 during a 2-1 match against the Chicago Red Stars in Bridgeview, Illinois.

The Pride’s last victory at home was on July 20 in a 1-0 game against Sky Blue FC.

Orlando fell to 4-16-3 with 15 points in the NWSL standings.

Up next 

The Pride closes out the 2019 NWSL season when they take on Reign FC on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Exploria Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Goal Summary

5′ – Ashley Hatch, assisted by Crystal Thomas (Washington Spirit)

62′ – Crystal Thomas (Washington Spirit)

85′ – Tiffany McCarty (Washington Spirit)

How the Pride lined up

Orlando Pride XI: Lainey Burdett; Carson Pickett, Morgan Reid, Joanna Boyles (Abby Elinsky, 67′), Kristen Edmonds (c); Bridget Callahan, Marisa Viggiano, Dani Weatherholt; Rachel Hill, Claire Emslie (Sydney Leroux, 75′), Danica Evans (Camila, 72′).

Orlando Pride Bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Julie King, Caitlin Farrell, Erin Greening.


For more coverage, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer

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