Spirit Fall 3-0 on the Road in Orlando, Prepare to Return to the SoccerPlex on Saturday
The Washington Spirit (4-9-3, 15 pts) fell 3-0 on the road Tuesday night to the Orlando Pride (6-6-5, 23 pts).
Following a scoreless first half, Orlando netted three straight goals in a 13-minute span, shortly after the intermission. Washington forward Cheyna Williams recorded a team-high five shots, as she and several other players generate scoring chances throughout the game, but ultimately the Spirit attack was unable to break through.
“It’s another tough result that's not really indicative of how we played,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim 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.”
Brazilian international Marta opened the scoring for the Pride in the 52nd minute on an assist from U.S. international Alex Morgan, hitting a right-footed shot into the center of the goal after receiving a short range cross.
In the 57th minute, another Brazilian born player, Camila, doubled the Pride’s lead with an unassisted strike, chipping a recovered loose ball from over 30 yards away into the bottom right corner.
Morgan finished off the scoring in the 64th minute, firing a shot into the top right corner of the net on an assist from Stephanie Catley.
Washington’s Kassey Kallman led the defense with four clearances and two blocked shots, while Caprice Dydasco had a team-high six tackles, and Tori Huster and Whitney Church each made three interceptions.
Huster, who played the full 90 minutes in the Spirit midfield, led all players for both teams with 50 total passes, 37 of which came on the attacking side of the field. Dydasco finished second on the team with 45 total passes, while Kallman’s 97.3 percent accuracy on her 37 pass attempts was the highest for the Spirit.
Spirit forward Mallory Pugh made her return to the lineup after coming back from international duty with the U.S. Women’s National Team, playing 72 minutes in a starting role and recording one shot. Argentine international forward Estefanía Banini subbed in for Pugh in the 73rd minute, making her first appearance since returning from a hamstring injury.