Recap | Pride Maintain Unbeaten Streak on Courtney Petersen’s First Career Goal

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 20, 2021) Second-year defender Courtney Petersen scored her first career goal on Sunday night, a 90th minute equalizer, to lead the Orlando Pride (3-0-3, 12 points) to a 1-1 draw with visiting NJ/NY Gotham FC (2-1-2, 8 points). With the point, the Pride’s unbeaten streak reaches six-straight to start the regular season, and eight total dating back to the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. 

Despite going down 1-0 near the end of the first half, the Pride continued pushing and eventually found the equalizer in the final minutes of the match. The home side led the night with a 16 to 12 advantage on shots, including a three opportunity stretch immediately following Gotham’s goal as the team looked to quickly equalize. 

Sunday also marked the Mission Rainbow match with the Club honoring the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, which happened five-years ago, the first responders from that night, and also a celebration of Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“I thought we were the better team, I thought that we created chances that were much more effective than the chances they [Gotham] created. And, of course, I think both goals were crosses if you look at them but they both are flying to the net as weird games will do that. But what it was, and the most important message to hit home, is the psychology of the players. The players now are in a space where they are believing who they are, believing what the team is doing and believing together. At halftime it was very clear, the message: ‘We have control of what we are doing. We are in control of what we are doing and we must keep doing that.’ And I think it was that psychological change in the players. It gets to the point where you build and will yourself into positions to win games and, for us, we created enough chances to win this game two, three times over with the quality of the chances. [Gotham] are good at ball possession but we chased, harried and harassed and never gave up and that’s the attitude of the Pride.”

Scoring Recap:

45’ Caprice Dydasco (Ifeoma Onumonu) - NJNY 1, ORL 0
The visiting side took the lead just before the first half whistle, with Caprice Dydasco directing a ball toward the far post that snuck beyond the outstretched Ashlyn Harris to find the side netting. 

90’ Courtney Petersen (Marta) - ORL 1, NJNY 1
Late in the match, Marta and second-half substitute Erika Tymrak teamed up to cause a turnover in the midfield, with Marta ultimately sending the ball wide to Courtney Petersen. In similar fashion to the game’s opening goal, Petersen put the ball in and over goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for her first professional goal and the late-game equalizer.

Match Notes:

  • Sunday’s match marked the team’s first game in 14 days and first at home since May 30, with the side defeating Kansas City 1-0. 
  • Courtney Petersen’s 90th minute goal marked the first of her professional career. The University of Virginia product earned her first career assist just two games ago, earning the helper on Alex Morgan’s game-winner over Kansas City.
  • Petersen’s goal marked the team’s latest goal since July 14, 2019, also an equalizer and also a first professional goal, when Erin Greening knotted things up at 3-3 on the road in Portland.
  • Marta picked up her second assist in as many games Sunday night, previously setting up Taylor Kornieck on June 6 at Washington, who also scored her first professional goal and the team’s equalizer on the night. 
  • Orlando remains atop the NWSL standings, now tied with Portland Thorns FC, who also sit at 12 points with a 4-2-0 record. 
  • On Sunday evening, the Pride celebrated the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy and honored the victims and survivors with a number of tributes and integrations throughout the match. The team also wore rainbow numbers on their Ad Astra kits in celebration of Pride Month.

Next Match:
The Pride will continue its three-match week, the second of such this year, next heading on the road to face Kansas City at Legends Field for the first time on Wednesday, June 23. That midweek game will kickoff in the afternoon at 2 p.m. ET with streaming available on Paramount+. 

Scoring Summary:
NJNY - Caprice Dydasco (Ifeoma Onumonu) 45’
ORL - Courtney Petersen (Marta) 90’

Misconduct Summary:
ORL - Phoebe McClernon (Yellow Card) 26’
NJNY - Jennifer Cudjoe (Yellow Card) 35’

Orlando Pride - GK Ashlyn Harris ©; D Ali Riley (Erika Tymrak 85’), Phoebe McClernon, Ali Krieger, Courtney Petersen; M Gunny Jónsdóttir, Marisa Viggiano (Meggie Dougherty Howard 71’), Taylor Kornieck; F Sydney Leroux (Chelsee Washington 71’), Alex Morgan, Marta
Substitutes Not Used: GK Erin McLeod; D Ally Haran, Konya Plummer, Toni Pressley; F Abi Kim, Crystal Thomas
NJ/NY Gotham FC - GK Kailen Sheridan; D Caprice Dydasco, Gina Lewandowski, Mandy Freeman, Imani Dorsey; M Allie Long, Jennifer Cudjoe, Sodam Lee (Domi Richardson 74’); F Paige Monaghan (Ifeoma Onumonu 44’), Evelyne Viens (Brianna Pinto 74’), Nahomi Kawasumi

Substitutes Not Used:
GK DiDi Haracic; D Estelle Johnson, Erica Skroski; M McCall Zerboni, Nicole Baxter

Details of the Game:
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear
Date: June 20, 2021
Attendance: 4,454

Stats Summary:
Possession: 42.4% / 57.6%
Shots: 16 /12
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 14
Offside: 6 / 0

REF: Alexandra Billeter
AR1: Ashlee Varnson
AR2: Juan Pablo Casas
4TH: Alejo Calume