Prides First Home Win, 4-3 Over The Washington Spirit

Orlando, FLA- A 50-minute weather delay prolonged the Orlando Pride as they prepared to take the field against the number 4 seat in the conference, the Washington Spirits-(5-3-3, 18 POINTS). The Lady Pride (2-8-2, 8 POINTS) hand the Spirits their 3rd loss of the season after scoring 4 goals at home in front of 3,703 fans. In the last three matches the Pride managed two goals each game but with the return of most of their international players, Orlando turned up the heat and delivered 4 balls to the back of the net in their first win at home.   

The First goal of the match was earned by the away team as Spirits striker Bayley Feist back heeled the ball at close range as she fell to the ground assisted by Cheyna Matthews in the 7th minute.  Just Minutes later the Pride had their first go at goal as Emily Van Egmond, back from her international duties for Australia, took a shot on target that was blocked by Spirits goalie Aubrey Bledsoe on the 13th minute. 

The pace of the game escalated when Pride forward Chioma Ubogagu caught the ball in stride by mid field and dribbled passed Bledsoe for her third goal in three games. That perfect pass by Joanna Boyles assisted the Pride to tie the game 1-1 in the 21st minute. Five minutes passed as Rachel Hill sent a bullet on target that hit the crossbar and found its way in the back of the net for her first goal of the 2019 season and pull the Pride ahead by a goal. The goals kept coming as Cheyna Matthews for the Spirit brought the equalizer in the 30th minute and the match went into the half tied 2-2.  

Pride’s Head coach Marc Skinner was nowhere to be found on the sidelines as he took a different approach to coaching Saturdays match. He found a suite with the best view to help orchestrate the lady Pride to victory. “Something I did at Birmingham” Explains Skinner.  “On the side of the pitch you manage emotion, you manage the instant effect of the play nearest to you. Most players cannot hear you especially when our wall is booming. So for me, and in my brain, I need to see the game tactically. My job is to make decisions not just waste emotions so I sat upstairs, and I sat at the best vantage point the best view point so I could tactically see what Washington were doing…” Skinner went on to say how that higher view gave him the information he needed to feed to the lady Pride during the half. His method of madness proved to elevate the Prides game plan as Orlando Forward Marta forced the ball into the back of the net in the opening minutes of the second half she continued to display her skills by scoring for the second time with only 12 minutes left on the clock to give the pride a two goal lead over the Washington Spirit. 

The return of three of Orlando Prides prominent starters gave Orlando a spark as Alanna Kennedy from Australia, Shelina Zadorsky from Canada, and Emily Van Egmond for Australia returned to the starting line-up after serving their International duties in the Womens World Cup 2019. Saturdays final score was 4-3 as Jordan Di Biasi snuck a late goal at the end of extra time. Washington goalie Aubrey Bledsoe had her work cut out for as she avoided the match from being out of reach with four impressive blocks from shots on target by the Lady Pride.