ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2023) – Orlando Pride (8-10-1, 25 points) defeated the 2023 UKG Challenge Cup champions North Carolina Courage (8-7-4, 28 points) at Exploria Stadium on Sunday night. The win is the Club’s sixth home win of the season, which ties the Club record set back in 2017.
Forward Ally Watt scored the fastest goal in Club history just 39 seconds into the match after receiving a pass from Adriana. The goal counted as Watt’s first regular season goal and her third across all competitions this season.
Adriana scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Pride in the 33rd minute. The goal counts as her fifth of the season while also picking up her fourth assist of the year across all competitions. It is the Brazilian international’s third straight game in which she has contributed to a goal.
1’ Ally Watt (Adriana) – ORL 1, NC 0
The Pride opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the match with Adriana threading a ball through the Courage’s backline to find a sprinting Ally Watt. Watt got on the end of the pass, took a touch around the keeper and slotted it into the back of the net.
33’ Adriana (Julie Doyle) – ORL 2, NC 0
Orlando extended their lead through nice work from Marta in the midfield, finding Julie Doyle on the wing, who sent a ball through to Adriana. Adriana used her pace to get away from the defenders and easily finished her one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper.
52’ Manaka Matsukubo (Emily Fox) – ORL 2, NC 1
The visitors pulled one back when Emily Fox sent in a ball from the left flank that fell to the foot of Manaka Matsukubo who was able to get it over the line from the middle of the box.
Head Coach Seb Hines:
“Massive win tonight. We are running out of games now with only three games to go. We have to give absolutely everything. I think, looking back, some of the performances were brilliant and we haven’t rewarded ourselves with three points. I am so happy that we were able to get up in the game and take our opportunities. A lot of credit has to go to the players because they are the ones that are competing and going out there day in and day out in training and performing at such a high level. I feel we made it uncomfortable for North Carolina going up in the game and not giving them too much playing through the lines and stopping their rhythm. You have to have the right mindset to do that, and I thought everyone from back to front did their job and were brilliant at their job.”
- Ally Watt scored her first goal of NWSL regular season play and her third across all competitions this season with her first-half finish.
- Watt’s goal at :39 seconds is the fastest goal in Pride history.
- Adriana collected her fifth goal of the season. She also earned her fourth assist of the season providing the helper on the Watt finish and is now tied with Erika Tymrak for the team’s most assist across all competitions.
- This is the second game this season Adriana has recorded a goal and an assist in the same match and marks the third-straight game that she has contributed to goals (2 goals, 3 assists).
- Julie Doyle picked up her third assist of the season on the Adriana goal.
- Orlando improves to 6-0-0 when scoring first this season, five of those wins coming at home.
- The Pride collected its 6th home win of the regular season, tying the Club record for most regular season home wins in a season set back in 2017.
- Head Coach Seb Hines made three changes to his starting lineup with Carly Nelson, Ally Watt, and Adriana all getting the nod in the starting XI.
Next Match: The Pride will have a two-week break before returning to action when they travel across the country to BMO Stadium to take on Angel City FC. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET with the match being broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.