recap

SEATTLE (Oct. 2, 2022) - The 2022 season came to a close for the Orlando Pride (5-10-7, 22 points) on Saturday evening, with the side falling 3-0 to the OL Reign (11-4-7, 40 points), who secured this season’s NWSL Shield with the result. 

The Reign were backed by a first half surge, seeing all three of the home side’s goals scored within the first 31 minutes of the match. Despite the scoreline, the Pride came out with a new look for the latter 45, putting more pressure on offensively and holding the Reign without a shot on goal in the second half. 

With the start, midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir made her 100th appearance across all NWSL competitions, with 48 of those coming as a member of the Pride.

The Pride season ends with 12 different goal scorers over the year, seven of them multi-goal scorers, with Meggie Dougherty Howard leading the side with three goals total. Erin McLeod finished the season with 65 total saves across 20 appearances between the pipes. 

The defeat sees the Pride finish the season in 10th position, heading into the 2022-23 offseason with two first round draft selections in the 2023 NWSL Draft after acquiring the Washington’s Spirit’s natural selection in late 2020 via trade. The Pride currently hold eight total picks in the draft: Two (2) first round, one (1) second round, three (3) third round and two (2) fourth round selections. 

Orlando Pride Interim Head Coach Seb Hines:

“Obviously a disappointing start to the game. It’s never good going three goals down at halftime but I felt that we were better in the second half but it was too late by that time…The message [after the game] was don’t let this last end to the season dictate how far you’ve come, what you’ve gone through, the adversity that you’ve shown and the togetherness that you’ve had to bring this group together and have a direction. Although it’s disappointing and we don’t want to end this way, we can take a lot of pride moving forward. [The players have] been through a lot this year and it’s important that they stick together and come back motivated next year.”

Scoring Recap:

8’ Megan Rapinoe (Jordyn Huitema) - RGN 1, ORL 0
The home side took a lead early in the match after the ball took an unlucky deflection off of Kylie Strom and straight to Jordyn Huitema, who led the Reign on a two-to-one break. The forward drew the lone Pride defender before finding Megan Rapinoe who capitalized on the opportunity. 

24’ Jordyn Huitema (Quinn) - RGN 2, ORL 0
Huitema got one of her own, collecting a through ball from Quinn before taking a touch around Erin McLeod to make it 2-0 for the Reign. 

31’ Bethany Balcer (Jessica Fishlock) - RGN 3, ORL 0
Bethany Balcer made it a three-goal lead for the home side in the 31st minute, capitalizing on a left-sided service from Jessica Fishlock 

Match Notes:

  • With the start, midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir made her 100th appearance across all NWSL competitions, with 48 of those coming as a member of the Pride. The first 52 came during Jónsdóttir’s time with the Utah Royals. 
  • Seb Hines made two changes to his starting lineup on Saturday, with Kylie Strom starting at right back and Darian Jenkins slotting in on the forward line. 
  • Saturday’s match saw four former Reign players face their former team, with Megan Montefusco, Leah Pruitt, Darian Jenkins and Celia all taking the pitch. The only other former Reign player, Ally Watt, missed the match due to a wrist injury suffered last match. 
  • Defender Megan Montefusco led the side in minutes this year, totaling 1,861 over 21 games played, missing only one match due to yellow card accumulation.
  • The Pride season ends with 12 different goal scorers over the season, seven of them multi-goal scorers.
  • Meggie Dougherty Howard led the side with three goals on the year. 
  • Erin McLeod finished the season with 65 total saves across 20 appearances between the pipes.