Saturday, September 24, 2022
Ty Gaston

MATCH RECAP: Orlando Pride Fall in North Carolina

Pride return home to face NJ/NY Gotham FC on Wednesday
CARY, N.C. – Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 point) suffered its first defeat of the season on Saturday evening, falling by a 1-0 scoreline at the North Carolina Courage (2-0-0, 6 points) at WakeMed Soccer Park. With the loss, the Pride currently sit tied for third place in the group with NJ/NY Gotham FC, who the team hosts on Wednesday evening at Exploria Stadium.

Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell:
“Not a great match for us, obviously, in possession. I still think we worked really hard, defended pretty well only giving up a penalty. Marta going down in the first half didn’t bode well as far as our possession. She helps so much with our composure on the ball and our ability to keep it in tight spaces, but we were able to get subs on the field to get some looks on some players. I think they broke our pressure way too easily, which we changed in the second half and got a little bit better. In the end, we just didn’t hold the ball well enough and going forward we’re going to need to build better to break lines.”

Scoring Recap:

61’ Merritt Mathias (PK) – NC 1, ORL 0
The home side was issued a penalty kick shortly into the second half after the referee called a handball in the box. Merritt Mathias stepped up and beat Erin McLeod from the spot for the only goal of the match. 

Match Notes:

  • Midfielder Parker Roberts recorded the first start of her professional career. Roberts was signed by the Pride at the tail end of 2021, re-signing at the start of the 2022 season. 
  • Forward Leah Pruitt made her Orlando Pride debut, entering the match in the 62nd minute. Pruitt, a USC graduate, was drafted by the Courage in 2019. 
  • The Pride were forced to use a substitution early, with Marta going down with an injury in the 31st minute. 
  • The Pride conceded their first goal via penalty kick since the 2020 NWSL Fall Series, when Sophie Schmidt converted for the Houston Dash on Sept. 26 at BBVA Stadium. The side has yet to concede in the run of play this year, also holding the reigning NWSL Champion Washington Spirit scoreless in their Challenge Cup opener a week ago. 
  • Head Coach Amanda Cromwell made three changes to her starting lineup from last week’s match against Washington, with Roberts, Toni Pressley and Meggie Dougherty Howard entering the fold.

Next Match: The Pride face a quick turnaround, returning home to host NJ/NY Gotham FC at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, March 30. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. 

Orlando Pride
NC Courage

Scoring Summary:
NC – Merritt Mathias (PK) 61’

Misconduct Summary:
NC – 
Taylor Smith (Yellow Card) 23’
ORL – Gunny Jónsdóttir (Yellow Card) 53’
ORL – Courtney Petersen (Yellow Card) 69’


Orlando Pride – GK Erin McLeod; D Carrie Lawrence (Kylie Strom 46’), Megan Montefusco, Toni Pressley, Courtney Petersen; M Parker Roberts (Angharad James 46’), Gunny Jónsdóttir (Erika Tymrak 77’), Meggie Dougherty Howard, Marta © (Mikayla Cluff 31’); F Sydney Leroux, Darian Jenkins (Leah Pruitt 62’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Anna Moorhouse; D Amy Turner, Kerry Abello; M Chelsee Washington

NC Courage – GK Katelyn Rowland; D Merritt Mathias, Abby Erceg ©, Kaleigh Kurtz, Carson Pickett; M Brianna Pinto, Malia Berkely, Denise O’Sullivan; F Taylor Smith (Ryan Williams 85’), Kiki Pickett (Meredith Speck 78’), Jaelene Daniels (Diana Ordoñez 71’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Marisa Bova; D Katie Bowen; M Emily Gray, Tess Boade; F Rylee Baisden, Jorian Baucom

Details of the Game:
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear
Date: March 26, 2022
Attendance: 3,328

Stats Summary: ORL / NC
Possession: 39.6% / 60.4%
Shots: 7 / 17
Shots on Goal: 1 / 3
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4 
Fouls: 19 / 6
Offside: 2 / 3

REF: Joshua Encarnacion
AR1: Andrew Charron
AR2: Dallas Rosier
4TH: Melinda Sopka

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Ty Gaston