90th Minute Penalty Kick Allows Spirit to Earn Draw with Orlando
The Washington Spirit (3-6-3, 12 pts) played the Orlando Pride (4-5-4, 16 pts) to a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon in the first ever NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in front of 5,200 fans.
After trailing for the majority of the second half, Washington equalized in the 90th minute on a penalty kick earned by Kristie Mewis and converted by U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh, who recorded the first brace of her professional career in the draw.
“I’m extremely proud of the team and how they continued to fight to the finish,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “I’m especially pleased with how many chances we created at the end of the game and continued to fight to try and get three points.”
Five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta struck the net once in each half, putting Orlando on top 1-0 in the 10th minute with a converted PK, and again 11 minutes into the second half on an unassisted shot from the center of the box into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Pugh scored a goal in each half for the Spirit, equalizing once in the 24th minute and again in the 90th. Her first score came on a left-footed strike from the center of the box, placing the shot inside the right post after receiving a perfectly-placed entry pass from Nigeria Women’s National Team forward Francisca Ordega. The assist marked Ordega’s team-leading third of the season. The goal was set up by Argentine international Estefanía Banini jumping a pass intended for Orlando’s Kristen Edmounds. Banini raced toward the goal and played a pass to Ordega who worked the ball to Pugh.
Washington outshot Orlando 18-16 overall, and recorded seven shots on target to the Pride’s four. Orlando controlled 56.5 percent of the possession to the Spirit’s 43.5.
Midfielder Tori Huster led the Spirit with 48 total passes in the game, followed by Banini and Pugh with 44 and 40, respectively. Orlando’s Alanna Kennedy led all players with 60 total passes, two more than Stephanie Catley’s 58.