Orlando Pride Edged 2-1 by Washington Spirit in Front of Record Crowd
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Orlando Pride (4-12-2, 14 points) closed out a three game week on Saturday evening, falling 2-1 to the Washington Spirit (7-7-4, 25 points) in front of 19,471 fans at Audi Field.
Marta scored Orlando's lone goal in the match, her seventh career goal in seven matches played against Washington. The Pride came inches from equalizing in the final moments of stoppage time, but Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe made a goal line save on Rachel Hill's header to maintain the lead.
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner:
"I'm really, really disappointed in the result and nature of the result. I think we were trying to build momentum and then we, we didn't under perform tonight, but we just didn't perform enough. I think the goals were really poor and it's something that I'm sick of the fact that we are conceding those...[The atmosphere] however is one pleasing factor from the game. As hard as it is to take that result, the reaction from the fans, for women's soccer in this country, it's so important."
9' Crystal Thomas - WAS 1, ORL 0
The Spirit opened the scoring early, with Crystal Thomas putting pressure on the Pride backline and tackling the ball away from goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and into the net.
31' Marta (Rachel Hill) - ORL 1, WAS 1
The Pride capitalized on a stolen ball near the midfield line, after Marisa Viggiano found Rachel Hill making a run down the right side. The winger drove unmarked into the box, before playing a low, driven cross to Marta who tapped it in for the equalizer.
59' Ashley Hatch (Tori Huster) - WAS 2, ORL 1
The home side scored the match-deciding goal just before the hour mark when Tori Huster sent a cross in from outside, finding the head of Hatch who redirected it back to the near post.
Marta made her return to the Pride's starting lineup on Saturday night after serving a two-game suspension for a red card foul in the Pride's match against Houston on August 10.
With her goal in the first half, Marta tallied her seventh career goal against Washington, the most she has scored against any opponent in the NWSL. Marta has played seven games against the D.C. side in three seasons.
With her third save of the match, Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris hit the 400 career saves mark - a number she has accumulated in season with both the Pride and the Spirit.
Rachel Hill recorded her second assist in as many games in the match, now tied for the team lead with Chioma Ubogagu and Joanna Boyles with two this season.
Saturday's match marked the Spirit's second ever game at Audi after playing in D.C. United's venue last season. The 19,471 fans set an attendance record for the NWSL side.
The Pride were without the services of midfielder Alanna Kennedy, who missed the match on red card suspension, and forward Alex Morgan, who is currently under concussion protocol.
Next Match: The Pride return home to Exploria Stadium on Saturday, August 31, looking to exact revenge on the same Spirit side. The final game of the home-and-home series will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. in Orlando.
Teams 1 2 F
Orlando Pride 1 0 1
Washington Spirit 1 1 2
WAS - Crystal Thomas 9'
ORL - Marta (Rachel Hill) 31'
WAS - Ashley Hatch (Tori Huster) 59'
WAS - Paige Nielsen (Yellow Card) 38'
ORL - Claire Emslie (Yellow Card) 90+1'
WAS - Bayley Feist (Yellow Card) 90+1'
Orlando Pride - GK Ashlyn Harris ©; D Erin Greening (Abby Elinsky 72'), Ali Kreiger, Shelina Zadorsky, Kristen Edmonds; M Joanna Boyles, Marisa Viggiano (Camila 76'), Dani Weatherholt; F Rachel Hill, Marta, Carson Pickett (Claire Emslie 60')
Substitutes Not Used: GK Haley Kopmeyer; D Morgan Reid, M Bridget Callahan; F Danica Evans
Washington Spirit - GK Aubrey Bledsoe; D Tori Huster, Paige Neilsen, Samantha Staab, Dorian Bailey; M Meggie Dougherty Howard, Andi Sullivan, Cali Farquharson (Cheyna Matthews 63'); F Crystal Thomas, Jordan DiBiasi (Bayley Feist 69'), Ashley Hatch (Amy Harrison 87')
Substitutes Not Used: GK Shae Yanez; D Megan Crosson, McKenzie Berryhill; F Arielle Ship
Details of the Game:
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Date: August 24, 2019
Stats Summary: WAS / ORL
Possession: 58.6% / 41.4%
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 10 / 6
Offside: 2 / 3
REF: Matt Franz
AR1: Adrienne McDonald
AR2: Kaili Terry
4TH: Alla Stepanov
• Discuss this story on the National Women's Soccer League message board...
National Women's Soccer League Stories from August 24, 2019
- Carli Lloyd Lifts Sky Blue FC over the Houston Dash in a 2-1 Win - Sky Blue FC
- Dash Fall to Sky Blue FC 2-1 at BBVA Stadium - Houston Dash
- Orlando Pride Edged 2-1 by Washington Spirit in Front of Record Crowd - Orlando Pride
- Spirit Beat Orlando for Historic Win at Packed Audi Field - Washington Spirit
- Reign FC Take Narrow Loss at NC Courage - OL Reign
- Lynn Williams Scores Game-Winning Goal in NC Courage Win over Reign FC - North Carolina Courage
- Storylines | Pride vs. Washington Spirit - Orlando Pride
- Three Points: the Dash Take on Sky Blue FC for Third and Final Time to Close Season Series - Houston Dash
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