ORLANDO, Fla. (April 16, 2022) - Orlando Pride (0-4-1, 1 point) fell by a score of 4-2 to the North Carolina Courage (3-0-2, 11 points) on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium in what served as the side’s last home match of the Challenge Cup.

Darian Jenkins netted both goals for the Pride, her first multi-goal performance since Sept. 7, 2019, when she scored two goals against Orlando as a member of the OL Reign. Leah Pruitt and Kerry Abello each tallied an assist in the match, the first for Pruitt as a member of the Pride and the first for Abello of her professional career.

Forward Julie Doyle also made her professional debut on the night, entering the match as a 70th minute substitute. 

The Pride will close out the Challenge Cup next week at Red Bull Arena, traveling to take on NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell:

“A little disappointed because you see what we can do when we have a little urgency and confidence and are courageous on the ball, so coming out how we did, we looked a little bit scared. We looked a little bit timid, we weren’t communicating and putting enough pressure on the ball or shifting well. They [North Carolina] came out buzzing, that’s what they do, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise but as coaches we have to look at it and see how we could have prepared our team better. As players, we have to play 90 minutes. We’ve put together a lot of good parts of games, but that’s not going to win us games. We have to put together a complete 90 minutes.”

Scoring Recap:

3’ Megan Montefusco (OG) - NC 1, ORL 0

The Courage got on the board early, with a cross from Merritt Mathias from the left side bouncing into the area and deflecting off Pride defender Megan Montefusco into the back of the net. 

6’ Jaelene Daniels (Taylor Smith) - NC 2, ORL 0

North Carolina doubled the advantage, this time with Jaelene Daniels getting on the end of a ball from Taylor Smith for the first time finish.

9’ Taylor Smith (Kiki Pickett) - NC 3, ORL 0

The Courage added another thanks to a ball from Kiki Pickett finding Taylor Smith down the right side, who was able to send her shot into the near post to add a third. 

15’ Darian Jenkins (Leah Pruitt) - NC 3, ORL 1

The Pride grabbed one back thanks to Leah Pruitt intercepting a pass by North Carolina goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, who laid the ball off for Darian Jenkins. The Pride forward wasted no time, sending her shot straight into the top left corner of the net. 

56’ Darian Jenkins (Kerry Abello) - NC 3, ORL 2

Orlando halved the deficit with a cross from Celia finding the head of Kerry Abello, who was able to play it across the face of goal, falling to the foot of Jenkins for her second goal of the night. 

89’ Debinha (Diana Ordoñez) - NC 4, ORL 2

The Courage took the insurance goal with Diana Ordoñez finding Debinha in the center of the area, who was able to spin around and fire a shot into the far post of the net. 

Match Notes:

  • Darian Jenkins scored her first goals for the Pride and tallied her first multi-goal performance since Sept. 7, 2019, where she scored two goals against Orlando as a member of the OL Reign.
  • Kerry Abello notched her first professional point with the assist on Jenkins’ second goal of the game. 
  • Leah Pruitt tallied her first goal contribution in what also served as her first start, recording the assist on Jenkins’ first goal.
  • Julie Doyle made her professional debut in the match, entering the game in the 70th minute for Meggie Dougherty Howard.
  • Head Coach Amanda Cromwell made four changes to her starting lineup from the Pride’s last outing, with Leah Pruitt, Celia, Kylie Strom and Toni Pressley all getting the nod. The start served as the first for both Pruitt and Celia as members of the Pride. 
  • Toni Pressley wore the captain’s armband for the Pride on the evening. 

Next Match: The Pride close out Challenge Cup play on Saturday, April 23, traveling to take on Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena.