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NWSL: Orlando shuts out Washington

Two matches in the NWSL occurred, before this weekend’s full slate of action.

On Tuesday, the Orlando Pride hosted the Washington Spirit at Orlando City Stadium. The home side beat the visitors with a clean-sheet victory.

In front of 4,273 fans, the Pride and Spirit both had a dismal first half. At the end of the first half, the only action to happen was Maddy Evans’ yellow card in the 45′ minute.

However, the Pride came out in the second half strong. Marta gave the Pride the lead in the 52′ minute, scoring the first goal off an assist from Alex Morgan.

The second goal of the match was scored by Camila, Marta’s fellow Brazilian, in the 57′ minute. Less than 10 minutes later, Morgan secured all three points for the Pride, scoring the third – and final – goal.

Morgan’s goal was assisted by Steph Catley in the 65′ minute.

“Obviously a terrific win for us and a clean sheet, which is fantastic,” Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said. “[It was] difficult in the first half because they high pressed us and we kind of expected that. But then we felt the game would open up the second half, and when it did, we would create opportunities and that’s exactly what happened.

“I was really delighted with our second half performance with how we played, how critical we were with our finishing and how well we managed the game after that,” Sermanni continued. “I thought it was an extremely good performance in the second half. We also spoke to international players the other day, and we talked about [how] our big players [need to come] out big at this time of the season, and it is great tonight because that’s exactly what happened.”

Spirit head coach Jim Gabarra had a different reaction to the match, in which his side only took eight shots with none going on goal.

“It’s another tough result that’s not really indicative of how we played,” said Gabarra. “I was happy with how we played at times, but we really didn’t do well with what we needed to do for the whole game. Orlando was able to finish a few of their chances, and unfortunately we weren’t able to make that final pass to put us in on goal.”

In total, the Pride took 17 shots, with six being on goal, for the entire match. In goal for the Spirit, Stephanie Labbé made a total of three saves.

As for the Pride, goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe had an easy night, not being forced to make a single save.

Orlando also had another yellow card picked up, in the second half, by Chioma Ubogagu in the 62′ minute. The Spirit did not have any yellow or red card shown to them by referee Christina Unkel.

On Thursday night, the North Carolina Courage headed to Swope Park Village to face FC Kansas City. The match was originally supposed to be played on July 22, but due to weather warnings and delays the match was rescheduled.

In front of 1,398 fans, FC Kansas City dropped the points at home in a 0-1 loss.

Lynn Williams scored her second goal in two games, since returning from the Tournament of Nations with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Williams’ goal, which was assisted by Jessica McDonald, occurred in the 86′ minute.

The goal put Williams at the top for the Courage, as she she has scored the most goals this season, bringing her total to five.

Even more notable, the Courage took 28 shots in the match, while Kansas City only took five.

For goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, it was her sixth shut out of the season.


Photo of the Orlando Pride courtesy of Jeremy Reper/ISI Images.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all NWSL coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist

Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search “McKriger Photography” on Facebook, to see her photos.

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