ORLANDO, Fla. (May 20, 2023) – Orlando Pride (3-4-1, 10 points) handed the Washington Spirit (4-1-3, 15 points) their first loss of the season as they earned a 2-1 victory on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium. The Pride were backed by a goal from the penalty spot from Marta and a back-post finish from Kylie Strom for the game-winner.
Marta got off the mark for her first goal of the 2023 campaign in the first half, slotting a kick from the penalty spot home. She also provided the assist to Strom for the game-winner, marking the third time Marta has recorded a goal and an assist in an NWSL match in her career and the first since August of 2017.
Strom recorded her first goal of the season with the second-half strike and her second in her career while with the Pride. Strom provided the game-winning assist in the Club’s last home match against Racing Louisville and is also just one of two Pride players to play every minute of the NWSL regular season.
With the victory the Pride have now won back-to-back home games and have gone four-consecutive games unbeaten in regular season play. The last time the Pride won back-to-back matches at Exploria Stadium was the end of May 2021 within a five-day stretch where they earned wins over the Portland Thorns and the Kansas City Current.
23’ Marta (PK) – ORL 1, WAS 0
After Adriana was taken down in the box, the Pride were awarded a penalty kick, with none other than their captain Marta stepping up to the spot and sending Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury the wrong way to convert.
28’ Sam Staab (Inès Jaurena) – WAS 1, ORL 1
The visitors found the equalizer just a few minutes later with Inès Jaurena whipping a ball into the box that found the head of Sam Staab, who was able to head it past Anna Moorhouse into the net.
77’ Kylie Strom (Marta) – ORL 2, WAS 1
The Pride regained the lead off the corner kick, with Marta whipping in a ball from the right side that found Kyle Strom at the far post, who was able to head it in for the finish.
Head Coach Seb Hines:
“We knew it was going to be tough game. Washington is unbeaten in the league and very physical. I thought we managed the game really well. Pleased with the goals. You know we changed shape, we changed our formation, having played them earlier on in Challenge Cup, we knew what they were capable of, and we knew that they were threatening. I thought it was a big collective effort to get the three points today.”
- Marta scored her first goal of the year, while also providing her first assist of the campaign. The finish for the six-time FIFA World Player of the year served as her first since October 2021 after missing all of last season due to injury.
- Kyle Strom netted her first goal of the season and her second as a member of the Pride.
- The penalty kick in the 22nd minute served as the first awarded to the Pride this season.
- With the win, the Pride have gone unbeaten in their last four regular-season games, going for a combined record of 3-0-1.
- The Pride have now won back-to-back home matches for the first time since the 2021 campaign.
- Head Coach Seb Hines made one change to his starting lineup entering the match, with Kerry Abello reentering the fold for the side.
The Pride will travel to SeatGeek Stadium and take on the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, May 27. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET with the game available to stream on Paramount+.