Orlando Pride

Match Report: Orlando Pride Extend Unbeaten Run to Seven Games with 4-1 Win over North Carolina


ORLANDO, Fla. (May 1, 2024) – The Orlando Pride (4-0-3, 15 points) used three first-half goals, a first in Club history, to lead the way to a 4-1 win over the North Carolina Courage (4-3-0, 12 points) on Wednesday night at INTER&Co Stadium. The Pride have also now totaled goals over their last 11 matches, dating back to Sept. 17, 2023, setting a new Club record.

Barbra Banda scored two goals and assisted on another in just her third NWSL appearance for Orlando, having now contributed to five goals over the last two matches.

Orlando forward Ally Watt opened the scoring on a first-half pass from Banda. Watt has now scored in back-to-back games at home against North Carolina, the previous in 2023, marking the fastest in Club history, and the third of her career against the Courage, the team that drafted her in 2020.

Banda was able to record a brace with goals in both the first and second half. The brace and assist made Banda the first player in NWSL history to have a goal and assist in her first two starts and the first player with five goal contributions in her first two starts.

After getting an assist in the Pride’s last match, defender Julie Doyle scored her first goal of the season in first-half stoppage time.

Orlando will remain at home for its next match, a quick turnaround at INTER&Co Stadium to take on Racing Louisville this Sunday, May 5. The match can be seen nationally on NWSL+ or locally on Bally Sports Sun.

Scoring Summary:

29’ Ally Watt (Barbra Banda)ORL 1, NC 0
Just over halfway through the first half, the Pride broke onto the scoreboard first with an Ally Watt finish. Barbra Banda led an Orlando attack down the left side of the field before sending a lead pass to Watt, who was able to squeeze past two Courage defenders and send in a shot past the goalkeeper for her first goal of the season.

40’ Barbra Banda (Ally Watt) – ORL 2, NC 0
With the end of the half approaching, Orlando extended its lead on another Banda-Watt connection. Banda controlled the ball at the center circle and sent in a pass to Watt on the outside of the Courage defense. Watt dribbled and sent a cross from just inside the box in front of goal to Banda who directed in the shot for a two-goal lead.

45+2’ Julie Doyle – ORL 3, NC 0
Just moments later, in stoppage time, Julie Doyle punched in her first goal of the season. Banda yet again led an Orlando attack deep into the Courage defense and took a shot in the middle of the box. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy made the save, but the ball deflected to her left and Doyle was able to catch up to it and send in a one-timer into the back of the net.

52’ Emily Sams (Own Goal) – ORL 3, NC 1
Early into the second half, the Courage managed to get on the scoreboard after a North Carolina pass deflected off Pride defender Emily Sams. The Courage sustained an attack deep into the Orlando defensive third when a would-be cross was deflected off Sams’ back and into the net.

77’ Barbra Banda (Carrie Lawrence) – ORL 4, NC 1
With her second goal of the match, Banda was able to extend the Orlando lead back to three after a throw in from Carrie Lawrence sent Banda inside the North Carolina box. Banda cut her way between multiple defenders before she drilled a shot past the goalkeeper.

Head Coach Seb Hines:

“Really, really pleased with the attitude of the players coming in here. After being on the road against Washington, and then a quick turnaround for tonight’s game, they started really, really well. [They were] on the front foot, their level of intent to put North Carolina under pressure [was high], especially in transition. I thought we were really threatening in transition. To be up in the game in the first half was really pleasing.”

Match Notes:

  • Ally Watt recorded her first goal of the season with a first half finish. The goal counts as the sixth of her NWSL career across all competitions, five of which have come as a member of the Pride.
  • Watt tallied the third assist of her NWSL career and first of the season.
  • Barbra Banda recorded a brace on the night, serving as her second and third goals of the season. She also earned an assist, serving as her second of the year.
  • Banda is the first player in NWSL history to record a goal and an assist in each of her first two career starts.
  • Banda is also the first player in NWSL history to record five goal contributions in her first two starts with three goals and two assists.
  • Julie Doyle recorded her first goal of the season in first half stoppage time. The goal was also the third of her NWSL career, all with the Pride.
  • Carrie Lawrence picked up her first assist of the season and the second of her NWSL career.
  • Head Coach Seb Hines made one change to the Starting XI from last week's win at Audi Field against the Washington Spirit, with Ally Watt earning a spot in the Starting XI.

Next Match: The Pride will face a quick turnaround and welcome Raving Louisville to INTER&Co Stadium on Sunday, May 5. The match is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. ET and can be seen nationally on NWSL+ or locally on Bally Sports Sun.