ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Pride (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to the defending National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champion North Carolina Courage (1-0-1, 4 points) on Wednesday night, by a 5-0 scoreline. The Pride will next turn its attention to Sunday’s match in Tacoma, when they play their third game in a week, this time on the road at Reign FC.
Head Coach Marc Skinner:
“I think the first half was better. You can’t give away goals like that; it’s a simple rule of football. [North Carolina are] champions and they are a set piece team. They are direct, set piece, in-your-face, counter-attacking team. And they are very good at it, it’s nothing negative, that’s just what they’re good at. But you can’t give the goals away that we’ve given away and expect to get anything out of the game. Look at the times we’ve given the goals away. I’m pretty pleased on the ball with what the girls did. And there was some really good performances off the ball. But you’ve got to have the whole group doing it.”
45’ Lynn Williams (Crystal Dunn) – NC 1, ORL 0
Just before the halftime break, Courage forward Crystal Dunn strippped the ball from forward Alex Morgan deep in the Pride half. Dunn pushed forward before sending the ball wide right to Lynn Williams who beat Ashlyn Harris in close.
55’ Jessica McDonald (Lynn Williams) – NC 2, ORL 0
The Courage doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half after Williams blocked a pass out of the back that landed directly at the feet of Jessica McDonald, who was unmarked inside the box.
70’ Crystal Dunn – NC 3, ORL 0
Dunn gets on the board to make it 3-0 on a scramble after a corner kick, with her shot taking a deflection off the crowd in close.
77’ Crystal Dunn – NC 4, ORL 0
Dunn scores her second on the night in similar fashion, putting in a bouncing ball off a corner kick.
88’ Julia Spetsmark (Kristen Hamilton) – NC 5, ORL 0
Second-half substitute Julia Spetsmark added the home side’s final goal in the evening with a shot that Harris was able to get a hand on, but one that deflected off the underside of the crossbar and in.
- After missing the season opening match due to illness, Australians Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond made their first starts of the season on Wednesday. Kennedy lined up at right center back while van Egmond started in the midfield.
- Wednesday was the 24th birthday of forward Rachel Hill. Hill earned the start and played 81 minutes for the Pride. Teammate Bridget Callahan celebrated her 23rd birthday just a day before, on April 16.
- With the start on Wednesday, Alex Morgan now sits at 49 all-time appearances for the Pride. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris earned her 97th NWSL appearance, across all competitions.
Orlando wraps up an eight day stretch that includes three games with a trip to Tacoma, Wash. to face Reign FC. Kickoff for the Pride’s first-ever match at Cheney Stadium is set for 10 p.m. ET.
NC – Lynn Williams (Crystal Dunn) 45’
NC – Jessica McDonald (Lynn Williams) 55’
NC – Crystal Dunn 70’
NC – Crystal Dunn 77’
NC – Julia Spetsmark (Kristen Hamilton) 88’
NC – Denise O’Sullivan (Yellow Card) 45+1’
NC – McCall Zerboni (Yellow Card) 64’
ORL – Marta (Yellow Card) 85’
Orlando Pride – GK Ashlyn Harris ©; D Ali Krieger, Alanna Kennedy, Shelina Zadorsky, Carson Pickett; M Rachel Hill (Kristen Edmonds 81’), Dani Weatherholt, Emily van Egmond, Chioma Ubogagu (Camila 73’); F Marta, Alex Morgan
Substitutes Not Used: GK Haley Kopmeyer; D Erin Greening; M Joanna Boyles, Bridget Callahan, Marisa Viggiano
North Carolina Courage – GK Stephanie Labbe; D Merritt Mathias, Abby Dahlkemper, Abby Erceg ©, Jaelene Hinkle; M Crystal Dunn (Kristen Hamilton 84’), McCall Zerboni, Samantha Mewis, Denise O’Sullivan; F Lynn Williams (Julia Spetsmark 74’), Jessica McDonald (Leah Pruitt 79’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Sam Leshnak; D Kaleigh Kurtz; M Liz Eddy, Heather O’Reilly
Details of the Game:
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Date: April 17, 2019
Stats Summary: NC / ORL
Possession: 53.4% / 46.6%
Shots: 30 / 9
Shots on Goal: 13 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 13
Offside: 1 / 3
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Amilcar Sicaju
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy L. B. Smith
Fourth Official: Hicham El Bariqi