Rapid Reactions: It's the Barbra Banda show in Orlando


1. Barbra Banda. That's it. That's the takeaway.

2. The Zambian talisman contributed to every goal the Pride scored on the night, notching two goals, an assist, and a shot that was parried to her teammate Julie Doyle. She also set NWSL records for most goal contributions and goals in her first games starting in the league. Overall, an incredible start to her life in purple.

3. The Banda-Watt connection was in full effect tonight as well, with Ally Watt connecting with Banda on the first two goals of the game (and almost the third). First, it was Banda feeding Watt with the perfect pass to open the game up, then Watt crossed the ball in from the wing to find Banda for the second. If the two can continue to link up, NWSL defenses should be very scared of the Orlando counter attacks.

4. Doyle and Watt both scored their first of the season tonight. Watt said after the game she probably scored the easiest goal of her career after the pass she received from Banda, while Doyle's came as a right-place, right-time rebound off a saved shot from Banda. Having the two other forwards starting to hit their rhythm will be a massive boon to the Pride.

5. While the offense was on fire tonight, so was the defense. Holding North Carolina, a team that scored five against the Houston Dash earlier this season, to zero shots on target was an incredibly impressive feat.

6. Cori Dyke and Carrie Lawrence made their home debuts as second-half subs. Both of them made their season debuts in Washington last week, but with them playing back-to-back games, their involvement with the team continues to grow. For Lawrence, it's her first game back at INTER&Co Stadium since 2022, after tearing her ACL in the 2023 preseason. She even notched an assist on Banda's second goal, coming off a throw-in. A massive step in her journey to recovery.

7. A bit of worry for the Pride as both Banda and Angelina had to be helped off the pitch late in the match. Banda went to the bench after coming off, but Angelina went straight to the locker room. Already missing a number of key players due to injury, Orlando can hardly afford more players going down, especially such important players as those two.

8. The Pride have played two of their three games in a one-week span, having played last Friday and today. Now, they'll go again on Sunday, as they'll host Racing Louisville for Star Wars night. Kickoff for the May 5 match is set for 6 p.m. ET.