Storylines | Orlando Pride at Washington Spirit

Storylines | Orlando Pride at Washington Spirit

Four for Four
Alex Morgan found the back of the net for the fourth time in as many contests on Sunday night against Kansas City, heading in a Courtney Petersen corner for the eventual game-winner to remain atop the NWSL in goals scored in regular-season play. With the finish, Morgan tallied her second deciding goal of the campaign after tallying the game-winner in North Carolina on May 22 and could tie her own personal record on Sunday in Washington for consecutive matches with a goal, netting five in a row from Aug. 5 to Aug. 26 in the 2017 NWSL season.

A First for the (Sort of) Rookie
With the announced change of Sunday’s game-winner credit against Kansas City, Courtney Petersen has now registered her first official goal contribution in NWSL play. Petersen, drafted No. 7 overall by the Pride at the 2020 NWSL College Draft, notched the assist on the finish when her corner kick found the head of Alex Morgan in the box. The defender sits as one of six members of the Pride to have played every minute thus far this campaign. 

Facing the Spirit
Sunday will serve as the third matchup between the Pride and the Spirit in 2021, with the two sides having opened the regular season against one another on May 16, battling to a 1-1 draw and facing off in the Challenge Cup the month prior in a match that saw the Pride take a 1-0 victory. Alex Morgan scored the lone goal for the Pride in the last matchup between the two sides, with teammate Sydney Leroux scoring the eventual game-winner in Orlando’s victory on April 21. 

Accepting the Honors
On Thursday, the NWSL announced its first Player of the Month and Team of the Month for the 2021 regular season. Of note, forward Alex Morgan was named the league’s Player of the Month by the NWSL Media Association after a standout May. With the goals, Morgan became the first player in NWSL history to score a goal in each of their first four matches of a season.  Additionally, Morgan along with teammates Sydney Leroux and Phoebe McClernon were also named to the NWSL’s Team of the Month as three of the 11 best players in the league last month. 

Remaining Unbeaten
With Sunday’s win over Kansas City, the Pride extended their Club-record start to the regular-season to four matches unbeaten. The side took nine points from a week that saw them battle NWSL heavyweights North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC, while also facing off for the first time against expansion side Kansas City. Entering the weekend, the team sits atop the NWSL standings as the lone remaining unbeaten side in the league, trailed by the Spirit in second.

A Lockdown Defense
The Pride recorded its first clean sheet of the campaign this past Sunday against Kansas City, with goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris having to make a total of zero saves to preserve the shutout. The Pride backline did not allow a shot on frame from the visitors, having conceded just three times through four regular season matches thus far.