ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 3, 2019) - Orlando Pride (4-14-3, 15 points) begins a two-game home stand to close out the 2019 NWSL season when it hosts the Washington Spirit (8-8-6, 30 points) on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Exploria Stadium in a rescheduled match due to Hurricane Dorian. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. ET with the match available to stream domestically on Yahoo! Sports and internationally across ESPN’s platforms.
“I think Washington are a very good team. Their last result was they beat North Carolina 2-1 so you can tell what quality they have. I think it’ll be a different team based on the fact that they don’t have their American international players,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “It’ll be a slightly different team, different variable, but we’ll be a totally different team so I think it will be who can master their matchups a little bit better. I think it’ll be a good game, I think it’ll be exciting and we’re looking forward to it.”
Saturday’s contest will serve as the rubber match between the two sides for the season, with the Pride earning a 4-3 victory over the Spirit at Exploria Stadium on July 6 before falling 2-1 at Audi Field on August 24. Marta scored three goals through the two matches to extend her Club-record over Saturday’s opposition to seven goals, however, the forward will be unavailable for Saturday’s match due to international duty.
The Pride enter Saturday’s match following a 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC this past Sunday at Red Bull Arena. Shelina Zadorsky scored her first professional goal in the match to give the Pride the early lead in the 18th minute, but Sky Blue leveled late with a finish from Carli Lloyd in the 88th minute to split the points on the afternoon. Sydney Leroux made her first NWSL appearance of the season in the match - just three months after giving birth to her daughter Roux at the end of June.
Marta leads the Pride with five goals this season, followed by Rachel Hill with three. Hill also sits tied with the team lead in assists with Joanna Boyles with two apiece.
Washington comes into the weekend off a 2-1 victory over the North Carolina Courage this past Saturday in their 2019 home finale. The Courage took the lead just before the halftime break with a finish from Lynn Williams in first half stoppage time, but the Spirit answered with finishes from Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle in the 75th and 84th minutes respectively to secure the victory.
Ashley Hatch leads the Spirit with six goals in 2019, followed by Jordan DiBiasi with four. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe sits tied for the league-lead in saves this season with Sky Blue’s Kailen Sheridan, each with 80 on the year.
Following Saturday’s match, the Pride will close out the 2019 NWSL season when they host Reign FC on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Exploria Stadium. The match will serve as the club’s first Breast Cancer Awareness Match, with match events bolstered by a league-wide online auction to benefit Libby’s Legacy, an Orlando-based non-profit selected by Pride defender Toni Pressley. Pressley, a four-year Pride veteran, announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 7.