After back to back games on the road, the ladies of Orlando came home for Mother’s Day, where they were able to honor their moms by defeating the number one ranked NC Courage 3-1. Redemption was on the minds of the Pride after being defeated 3-1 in the Courage’s stadium two weeks prior.
An explosion of goals in the second half came unexpectedly after both teams searched for opportunities to put points on the scoreboard. Glimpses of great things to come for the Pride were apparent as three different players contributed goals. Ali Krieger set up former Houston Dash forward Chioma Ubogagu to earn her first goal of the season in the 49th minute of play. Only one minute later, Jamia Fields played a through-ball to player of the match Camila. Camila effortlessly scored on NC keeper Sabrina D’Angelo.
Courage striker Debinha prevented the Pride from earning a clean sheet by putting one past Ashlyn Harris in the 51st. Momentum dwindled for the Courage in the 57th as Abby Erceg earned a second yellow card and was sent off, leaving the team to play with one less player than the Pride. Fan favorite, Jasmyne Spencer took advantage and scored after Marta found her running to get behind the Courage back line in the 82nd.
“Its great to get the first win against the best team in the league. We were delighted with the efforts of the players and the focus today on the way we defended” stated Coach Sermanni.
“We wanted to defend and be organized. If they were going to score, it had to be a very good goal. I think we did a really good job with winning our chances” stated Ubogagu when asked about her team’s performance.
When asked about how the team felt to earn their first win, Ali Krieger added “We know we are a good team and I don’t think that the record shows how good we are on the field”.
Krieger has been a solid leader for the Pride in her short time with the club.”We need to just take this momentum and carry it through the next game but, obviously be compact and composed defensively” stated Krieger when asked about the Pride’s upcoming match on the road against the Seattle Reign in week six. Defense will be a key area of focus for the Pride as they take on a Reign team that has already had two high scoring games this season. Krieger also added “They’re finishing every single chance that they get. We are providing the chances but now we have to finish them. We have the caliber to do that”.
Now that the Pride have earned their first victory of the season against the number one team in the league, they can continue to build momentum and climb back up the standings.