Orlando Pride Battle to 4-3 Victory Over Washington Spirit

Orlando Pride Battle to 4-3 Victory Over Washington Spirit

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 6, 2019) - Orlando Pride (2-8-2, 8 points) earned a 4-3 victory over the Washington Spirit (5-3-3, 18 points) on Saturday night at Exploria Stadium, marking the first win at home for the Pride in the 2019 season.

The Pride scored two goals on each side of the half, with Chioma Ubogagu and Rachel Hill finding the back of the net in the 21st and 26th minutes, while Marta secured a brace in the second half of play to solidify the 4-3 win. Marta and Ubogagu now sit tied for first on the squad in goals scored this season with three apiece, while Hill’s finish on the night served as her first goal of the season. 
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“I'm going to be consistent with the message that I always say when we haven’t got the result...You can’t keep conceding three goals and scoring four at home. I know American sport love the drama and it’s all well and good but, we can't concede three goals at home and win every game. I thought we were very, very dangerous today in possession. I thought out of possession we were quite controlled and just had moments of madness. I’m pleased with all of the girls’ attitude and I'm pleased that they got the win for them, because they commit everything to what we are trying to do. I’m really, really pleased and proud of them, but we’ve still got loads and loads of work to do.”
Scoring Recap:
7’ Bayley Feist (Cheyna Matthews) - WAS 1, ORL 0
The Spirit opened the scoring when Cheyna Matthews drove a ball to the near post from the right side to the foot of Feist, who backheeled it into the net for the clever finish to give the visitors the lead. 
21’ Chioma Ubogagu (Joanna Boyles) - ORL 1, WAS 1
The Pride leveled the match after Joanna Boyles sent a ball in behind the Washington defense for Chioma Ubogagu, who rounded Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and passed it into the net for the easy finish. 
26’ Rachel Hill (Emily van Egmond) - ORL 2, WAS 1
The home side took the lead when Emily van Egmond sent a through ball in behind the Spirit defense to Rachel Hill, who ran onto it and ripped a shot into the over the head of Bledsoe into the top netting.
30’ Cheyna Matthews (Tori Huster) - ORL 2, WAS 2
The Spirit leveled the match once more after a ball from Tori Huster from Washington’s defensive half found Matthews in behind the Pride defense, who took a touch before hitting past goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer into the left side of the net.
48’ Marta - ORL 3, WAS 2
The Pride regained the lead after Erin Greening sent a ball into the box from the right side, finding Marta in the penalty area. The Brazilian international trapped it down before taking a left-footed shot into the far post to give the home side the advantage.
78’ Marta - ORL 4, WAS 2
Marta doubled the lead for the Pride late in the second half, taking advantage of a deflected header by the Spirit defense that sent in her behind their line, where she was able to hit it past Bledsoe for the finish.

90+4’ Jordan DiBiasi (Ashley Hatch) ORL 4, WAS 3
The Spirit cut the Pride’s lead in half late, with Hatch getting her head on a poorly cleared ball by the Pride defense. The ball then landed to the feet of DiBiasi, who worked her way around a few Pride defenders before sending in a finish near the left side of the six-yard box. 

Match Notes:

  • Saturday’s victory served as the first at home for the Pride in 2019. 
  • The Pride’s two goals in the first half marked the first time the team has scored multiple goals in a half this season. The Club matched that feat in the second half with another pair of goals. 
  • Marta’s two finishes on the night served as her second and third goals of the year, now with three goals in her two matches since returning from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She now sits at six finishes against Washington in her career, the most by any Pride player against any team.
  • Rachel Hill scored her first goal of the season with her finish in the 26th minute, with Emily van Egmond earning her first assist of the year on the play. 
  • Chioma Ubogagu found the back of the net for the third time this season, scoring her third goal in as many games. She now sits tied with Marta for the team lead in goals scored this season. 
  • Joanna Boyles recorded her second assist of her professional career on the evening.
  • Australian internationals Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond, as well as Canadian defender Shelina Zadorsky, returned to the starting XI for the first time since their return from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Kennedy wore the captain’s armband for the Pride.

Next Match: The Pride head out on the road to face the Portland Thorns on Sunday, July 14 at the newly renovated Providence Park, with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.  The match will be the first game of the season aired on ESPNEWS as part of the NWSL’s newly announced broadcast deal.