ORLANDO, Fla. (May 16, 2021) - Orlando Pride (0-0-1, 1 point) split the points with the Washington Spirit (0-0-1, 1 point) on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium, playing to a 1-1 draw in the NWSL regular season opener for both sides.
Alex Morgan scored the lone goal for the Pride in the match, getting on the end of a lofted ball from defender Phoebe McClernon for the finish. The goal served as Morgan’s first for the Club since the 2018 NWSL campaign, while McClernon registered her first professional goal contribution in what served as her NWSL regular-season debut.
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“Tonight was another step in the right direction. Of course you want to see a win on the board, but we had big parts in the game. It’s always going to be tight against Washington, they’re very good and have lots and lots of talent going through as well. To come back in the way that we did was very, very pleasing. It’s the consistency, it’s the message of once you go down, you’re not beaten and that team has come around and done that. Super pleased with their efforts, with their attitudes and that can only give us a great platform to go forward as we look for those wins throughout the season.”
76’ Ashley Hatch (Tori Huster) - WAS 1, ORL 0
The visitors got on the board first, with a cross from Tori Huster finding the head of Ashley Hatch in the area for the finish.
84’ Alex Morgan (Phoebe McClernon) - ORL 1, WAS 1
The Pride answered less than 10 minutes later, with Phoebe McClernon playing a ball over the top for Alex Morgan running in behind the Washington defense. Morgan hit it first time on the bounce to bag the equalizer.
- Alex Morgan scored her first goal of 2021 for the Pride, the first time the U.S. WNT forward has found the back of the net for the Club since Aug. 25, 2018 after missing much of the previous seasons due to pregnancy and a loan spell.
- Phoebe McClernon recorded the first assist of her professional career in the match, earning the assist on Morgan’s goal.
- Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon and Taylor Kornieck all registered their first starts in NWSL regular season action on the night, with Gunny Jónsdóttir and Meggie Dougherty-Howard earning their first regular season minutes for the Pride.
- Chelsee Washington logged her first NWSL regular season minutes in the match, entering in the 72nd minute for Dougherty-Howard.
- Crystal Thomas made her regular season debut for the Pride, entering the match in the 83rd minute for Marisa Viggiano.
Next Match: The Pride embark on their first road trip of the 2021 NWSL regular season, set to travel to North Carolina to take on the Courage on Saturday, May 22 at WakeMed Soccer Park. Kickoff for that match is set for 7 p.m. ET.
WAS - Ashley Hatch (Tori Huster) 76’
ORL - Alex Morgan (Phoebe McClernon) 84’
WAS - Ashley Hatch (Yellow Card) 74’
Orlando Pride - GK Ashlyn Harris ©; D Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon, Ali Krieger, Gunny Jónsdóttir; M Marisa Viggiano (Crystal Thomas 83’), Marta, Meggie Dougherty Howard (Chelsee Washington 72’); F Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Taylor Kornieck
Substitutes Not Used: GK Erin McLeod, Brittany Wilson; D Ally Haran, Carrie Lawrence, Konya Plummer, Toni Pressley; F Abi Kim
Washington Spirit - GK Aubrey Bledsoe; D Tori Huster, Paige Nielsen, Sam Staab, Kelley O’Hara (Tegan McGrady 66’); M Emily Sonnett, Dorian Bailey (Jordan DiBiasi 71’), Andi Sullivan ©; F Ashley Sanchez (Tara McKeown 87’), Trinity Rodman (Julia Roddar 87’), Saori Takarada (Ashley Hatch 46’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Devon Kerr; D Natalie Jacobs; M Anna Heilferty; F Kumi Yokoyama
Details of the Game:
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Date: May 16, 2021
Stats Summary: ORL / WAS
Possession: 44.6% / 55.4%
Shots: 10 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 1 / 11
Offside: 4 / 2
REF: Karen Callado
AR1: Ashlee Varnson
AR2: Sean-Michael Kemp
4TH: Sarieni Vasquez
Heineken Star of the Match: Sydney Leroux