ORLANDO, Fla. (July 23, 2023) – Orlando Pride (0-2-1, 1 point) were defeated 3-1 by NJ/NY Gotham FC (2-0-1, 7 points) on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium in the UKG Challenge Cup. The match was originally scheduled to be played on June 28, but due to severe weather and travel delays encountered by Gotham, it was rescheduled to Sunday night.
The match saw defender Megan Montefusco net her first goal with the Pride across all competitions in the ninth minute of the match, coming from an Erika Tymrak free kick. The goal served as Montefusco’s third finish of her NWSL career.
To go along with her assist on the night, Tymrak also captained the side for the first time in her Pride career. The assist counted as her fourth assist across all competitions so far in the 2023 campaign, which leads all Pride players.
9’ Megan Montefusco (Erika Tymrak) – ORL 1, NJNY 0
The Pride were the first to strike with Erika Tymrak sending in a free kick from the left flank and finding the head of Megan Montefusco at the near post who flicked it into the back of the net.
36’ Jenna Nighswonger (PK) – NJNY 1, ORL 1
The visitors answered after they were awarded a penalty kick following a foul inside the box. Jenna Nighswonger stepped up to the spot and converted the try to level the match.
55’ McCall Zerboni (Jenna Nighswonger) – NJNY 2, ORL 1
Gotham took the lead in the second half after McCall Zerboni received the ball from Jenna Nighswonger. Zerboni took a few touches and took a shot from outside the box, which found the back of the net.
58’ Yazmeen Ryan (McCall Zerboni) – NJNY 3, ORL 1
The away side doubled their lead after a quick give-and-go with McCall Zerboni led to the ball at Yazmeen Ryan’s feet who snuck a shot between a crowd of Pride defenders and just out of the reach of a diving Anna Moorhouse.
Head Coach Seb Hines:
“We did not look like ourselves tonight. You can put multiple things on it, but we set a high bar from the last couple of games and the standards have been extremely high and you have seen the performance. We have just dropped that a little bit, whether that is down to the break, because we had so much good momentum and it probably came at the worst possible time for us, but I don’t like to make excuses. Performance wasn’t good enough. We had a good start, but then it is seeing out through the whole game. Gotham took their goals well. Two goals from outside the box, but I think we will have to look at ourselves as we know we can do much better.”
- Megan Montefusco earned her first goal as a member of the Pride following her first half finish.
- Erika Tymrak collected her fourth assist across all competitions for the Pride this season, leading the team in that category.
- Tymrak wore the captain's armband to start the night, the first time she has ever done so with the Pride.
- Head Coach Seb Hines made four changes to his starting XI, with Celia, Brianna Martinez, Jordyn Listro and Ally Watt all getting the nod.
The Pride will continue their run in the UKG Challenge Cup as they travel to WakeMed Soccer Park to take on the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, July 29. The is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. ET with the game available to stream on Paramount+.