After having nearly a month off for the Olympics, the Orlando Pride are back in action this weekend against the Washington Spirit. While the Pride find themselves behind in the rankings, they are ready to get back to work and do what they can to reach the playoffs. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris feels confident that they can pull it off.
“I think we have a lot to look forward to,” Ashlyn said after training on Wednesday. “We’re still believing, we still think we can make the playoffs.”
Harris returned to training this week after traveling to Rio for the Olympic tournament as an alternate for the United States. She admitted that she didn’t get a lot of playing time while she was out there, and she’ll have to find her rhythm again. But she’s not worried. “If anyone can do it, I know I can rise to the challenge and come up big for this team.”
Harris said that the team will have to rely on a lot of young talent moving forward, and that these players will also have to work hard if the team is going to succeed. “A lot of girls have had to step up and play roles they’re not used to,” Harris said. “They’ve got to rise to the occasion. Because it’s gonna take all of us.”
With five games left to the season, Harris and her teammates are ready to chase success. “We know what we need to do, and that’s get results and get points,” Harris said. “And the good thing is we’re back home and we always play well in front of our home crowd.”
Of the five games left in the season, three of them will be played in Camping World Stadium. Much like their male counterparts, the Pride are tough to beat in front of their home crowd. But they’ve lost some major players to injury, including defender Steph Catley. Every player will have to be at their best. “We’ll be fine,” Harris said. “This is part of it and we trust these players… they’ve been working their butts off.”
“These next few games are gonna be huge for us,” Harris said. “Every game is important, every game is a push.”
The Orlando Pride will be back on the pitch this Friday, August 26th taking on the Washington Spirit. Kickoff is at 7:30pm at Camping World Stadium.