ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2018) - Looking to extend its five-game unbeaten streak, Orlando Pride (3-2-3, 12 points) returns home to take on the league-leading North Carolina Courage (7-0-2, 23 points) on Wednesday, May 23. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.
U.S.-based fans will be able to tune into the match on the go90 platforms while international fans can watch at NWSLsoccer.com or on the NWSL app.
“[Last year] we defended a little bit deeper in the first half against North Carolina and tried to stop them,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “They are very potent up front and very quick up front, so we tried to stop them from getting in behind us and tried to stop the game from being stretched. I think it’s equally important that we do that Wednesday night. But, we’re playing at home, we’ve got a high caliber team so we’ve got to be a little more aggressive in how we play the game from an attacking perspective.”
This match will mark the first meeting for the Pride and Courage this year and the first of three matches between the two clubs this season. The team’s previous meeting was the last game of the 2017 regular season on Sept. 30. Orlando defeated North Carolina 3-2 with goals from Kristen Edmonds, Marta and a game-winning free kick in stoppage time from Alanna Kennedy.
The Pride return home riding a five-game unbeaten streak, including two victories and a draw during a three-game road series. Most recently, Orlando beat Portland Thorns FC 2-1 for the first time in Club history on May 12.
The Pride jumped out to an early lead in the 11th minute with Alex Morgan’s first goal of the season. Christine Nairn blasted the ball into the back of the net in the 21st minute to secure the win. Nairn’s goal was recognized as Goal of the Week and placed on the SportsCenter Top Ten Plays. Ashlyn Harris made five crucial saves to conserve the victory, including the Week 7 Save of the Week winner.
Chioma Ubogagu’s three goals and Nairn’s two assists lead the Pride this season.
North Carolina enters the match as the only undefeated team in the league, most recently defeating Sky Blue FC on Saturday behind goals from Crystal Dunn and Sam Mewis.
In addition to having the most points in the league, the Courage possess a potent offense that leads the league in both goals and assists. Forward Jessica McDonald is tied for first in assists and forward Crystal Dunn is tied for second in goals.