ORLANDO, Fla. (March 30, 2022) - Orlando Pride (0-2-1, 1 point) fell to NJ/NY Gotham FC (1-1-1, 4 points) 1-0 on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium, in the Club’s third match of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. The Pride conceded in during the run of play for the first time in the match, starting the Challenge Cup with a 267 minute span without one.

The Pride created dangerous chances throughout the night, despite the two sides going scoreless through 87 minutes of the match. Forward Sydney Leroux created a breakaway late in the first half and the Pride had two shots ring off the woodwork against Gotham, with Meggie Dougherty Howard hitting low off the post and Angharad James striking off the crossbar. 

Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse made her Pride and NWSL debut, starting between the pipes and making two saves on the night. The Pride held the visitors to just three shots on goal overall.

Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell:

“I thought it was actually one of our best games, probably the best game so far as far as a 90-minute period. I think we’ve had moments that were very good in other games and halves. I thought we had a lot of the ball and were very creative going forward, unlucky not to score in this game. I was really proud of the team. I thought the effort was there, the mentality was there. And that was a tough one to give up towards the end on a transition moment and we got caught a little bit. We’re just going to keep grinding, getting better and I think you saw some improvement from the last game.”

Scoring Recap:

87’ Margaret Purce (Ellie Jean) - NJNY 1, ORL 0

Gotham FC took the lead deep into the second half, as Margaret Purce received a forward pass from Ellie Jean. Purce took the ball through the middle of the Pride defense and knocked the ball past a charging Anna Moorhouse for the only goal of the night. 

Match Notes:

  • Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse made her NWSL debut on Wednesday night, debuting in the league on what also was her 27th birthday. The Brit was signed by the Pride on Jan. 31 via transfer from Bordeaux. 
  • Defender Kylie Strom and forward Erika Tymrak earned their first starts of the 2022 season on Wednesday. 
  • Two Pride players hit appearance milestones in the game, with Tymrak playing in her 150th NWSL match while Sydney Leroux played in her 125 NWSL match, both numbers across all competitions. 
  • Coming into the match in the 75th minute, midfielder Chelsee Washington made her first appearance for the Pride since returning from loan with Australian side Canberra United. 
  • After picking up a yellow card in the fourth minute of play, her second of the Challenge Cup, Strom will be suspended for the Pride’s Sunday match at Washington due to accumulation. 
  • With Marta sidelined due to injury, Sydney Leroux wore the captain’s armband against Gotham FC.

Next Match: Orlando hits the road for its second away match of the Challenge Cup, traveling to face the Washington Spirit for the second time in group play on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET at Audi Field.