TO GOAL ... AND BEYOND
Alanna Kennedy made national news for her game-winning goal during Saturday’s match against the Washington Spirit. The mid elder collected the ball at the mid eld line, took a touch towards goal and booted the ball over Aubrey Bledsoe’s head and into goal. The lone goal of the night marked Kennedy’s second goal of the season and her sixth career NWSL goal. That night Kennedy’s goal made No. 5 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 and earned the NWSL Goal of the Week.
FASTER THAN FAST, QUICKER THAN QUICK
Ashlyn Harris’ three saves against the Washington Spirit gave the goalkeeper the second-most saves in the league with 39, behind former Orlando Pride teammate Aubrey Bledsoe. Just over halfway through the season, Harris has made more saves than she did in 2017 (36) and more than half as many as she made in the 2016 (62) season. Harris posted her single-season saves record back in 2013 with 84 saves through 22 appearances while with the Washington Spirit.
Last weekend, the Orlando Pride set a Club record when they recorded their fifth clean sheet of the season against the Spirit. The team’s first clean sheet of the season occurred on April 22 in the 1-0 victory over the Houston Dash. During those five matches, the Pride limited their opponents to just 12 shots on goal and helped the team achieve the third-fewest goals allowed so far this season.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Five of the league’s top scorers this season will face off against one another this Wednesday. Rachel Hill, Sydney Leroux and Chioma Ubogagu of the Orlando Pride are tied with Rachel Daly and Sofia Huerta of the Houston Dash for the sixth-most goals in the league with four apiece. They are also tied with Jessica McDonald and Lynn Williams of the North Carolina Courage, who the Pride face on Saturday. Forward Ubogagu scored her second goal of the season in the last matchup between the Pride and the Dash on April 22, which proved to be the game-winning goal for Orlando.
A DASH MORE IN HOUSTON
Since playing the Houston Dash on April 22, the team from Texas has added five new players to their roster. Forward Kyah Simon was acquired from the 2018 Dispersal Draft following the folding of the Boston Breakers, but she did not make her debut for Houston until April 28 due to international duty with Australia. Defender Allysha Chapman joined the Dash via trade with the North Carolina Courage on May 9. Clare Polkinghorne was signed by the Dash on June 7, and So a Huerta and Taylor Comeau joined Houston on June 18 from a trade with the Chicago Red Stars.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Wednesday’s match against the Houston Dash will be the second of three matches a week span for the Pride. On Saturday, the Pride defeated the Washington Spirit 1-0 at Maryland SoccerPlex and following the midweek match-up, they will take on the North Carolina Courage for the second time this season on Saturday, June 30. This will be the first time the team plays three matches in one week. They will do so again in July, beginning on July 7 at Orlando City Stadium against the Spirit. The Pride will then travel to Houston to take on the Dash on July 11 and will finish with their third match on July 14 against the Utah Royals at Rio Tinto Stadium.
THE FIRST RULE OF LEADERSHIP
Center back Mônica leads the Orlando Pride with a passing accuracy of 79.74%. The Brazilian has made nine appearances for the Pride this season and has successfully completed 75% of the tackles she has attempted and made a team-high 11 blocks. The defender has been with the Pride since the inaugural season and has totaled 44 regular season appearances and contributed to 12 of the Club’s 13 clean sheets.
IT’S FALLING, WITH STYLE
This season the Pride roster has only received seven yellow cards and are currently the only team in the league to not have a single player with multiple yellow cards. Ali Krieger, Sydney Leroux, Toni Pressley, Carson Pickett, Emily van Egmond, Dani Weatherholt and Shelina Zadorsky have all received a single yellow card. More than halfway through the season, the team has recorded a less than a third of the yellow cards that they did last year (23).