@ NJ - 4.23

Jenkins Gets On The Board

Darian Jenkins scored her first goals for the Pride on Saturday against North Carolina. Her first tally came in the 15th minute after Leah Pruitt intercepted a pass from the Courage goalkeeper and laid it off for Jenkins to send into the upper left corner of the net. Jenkins’ second goal came after a cross from Celia headed down by Kerry Abello, allowing Jenkins to get her foot on it and knock it home. Her two goal performance was her first multi goal performance since September 7, 2019, a game where she scored two against the Pride as a member of the Reign. 

More Changes To the Starting XI

Head Coach Amanda Cromwell continued to tweak her starting line up, giving more minutes and rotation to the squad. There were four changes made from the previous match: Celia, Kylie Strom, Toni Pressley and Leah Pruitt all earned starting spots. Of the four changes, Pressley was the only player to play the full 90 minutes. Amy Turner and Kerry Abello replaced Strom and Pruitt at the half, respectively, and Carrie Lawrence replaced Celia in the 57th minute. 

More Firsts

Kerry Abello recorded her first professional point on her assist on Jenkins' second goal of the night. Leah Pruitt also recorded her first Pride assist, in her first Pride start, on Jenkins’ first goal of the match. Julie Doyle made her professional debut against North Carolina when she replaced Meggie Dougherty Howard in the 70th minute. To this point, all eligible Pride field players have now seen minutes in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup.

Villacorta Gets Cleared

Ahead of Saturday’s match, midfielder Viviana Villacorta has been removed from the Season Ending Injury list, meaning the former UCLA Bruin is officially eligible for selection for the first time in her professional career. Villacorta was selected by the Pride at No. 9 overall in the 2021 NWSL College Draft but returned to UCLA for her senior season, unfortunately suffering an ACL tear in the first game of the 2021 campaign.  

To The Moon

On Wednesday, the Pride made a splash again, debuting the 2022 Luna Kit presented by Orlando Health. The kit, which will serve as the team’s secondary kit for the season, is inspired by the Artemis Lunar Exploration Program which aims to send the first woman to the moon by 2025. Following the success of last year’s Ad Astra kit, which recognized icons who laid the foundation for women and minorities in space exploration, the Luna Kit completes the story and looks ahead to the future, to those who will continue breaking barriers and trailblazing in the aerospace industry.