Connect with us

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. San Diego Wave FC: Final Score 2-1 as Pride Winning Streak Comes To An End

The Pride’s three-game winning streak came to an end tonight with a home loss to San Diego Wave FC.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Orlando Pride (7-9-1, 22 points) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end, as they fell 2-1 to San Diego Wave FC (8-6-3, 27 points) at Exploria Stadium. Abby Dahlkemper opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Adriana equalized just before halftime. Substitute Kyra Carusa netted the winner off a corner kick in the 75th minute, and the Pride were unable to climb into a playoff spot with five games remaining in the season.

After the Pride’s 5-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars Sunday night, Head Coach Seb Hines used the same lineup for this matchup against the Wave. Anna Moorhouse started in goal behind a back line of Kylie Strom, Rafaelle, Emily Mardril, and Haley McCutcheon. Viviana Villacorta and Kerry Abello were the defensive midfielders behind an attacking midfield of Adriana, Marta, and Julie Doyle. Messiah Bright started up top after scoring her first career brace.

San Diego was happy to sit back in this game and hit the Pride on the counter attack. As a result, the Pride led in every meaningful statistical category. The Pride had chances in the first half through some poor passing by the Wave, but were unable to take advantage, and San Diego goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made some good saves to keep the game at 1-1. The downfall for the Pride was on set pieces, conceding on both of the Wave’s corner kicks — both of which were conceded unnecessarily.

The Pride had the first chance of the game in the second minute when Marta shielded the ball at midfield and sent Doyle behind the back line. Dribbling into the box from the left, Doyle attempted to beat Sheridan to her near side, but the ball bounced off the post.

The Wave almost opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Alex Morgan pressured Moorhouse’s pass to Madril. The center back sent a poor pass to either Moorhouse or Rafaelle, sending it into open space, where Rachel Hill picked it up. The forward quickly shot on goal, and should have scored, but it was too close to Moorhouse, who did well to knock it wide with her left foot.

The ensuing corner ended up at the foot of Danielle Colaprico, who shot on goal. McCutcheon got in front to block the attempt, but could only clear it as far as Dahlkemper near the penalty spot. The center back’s shot was over Moorhouse and off the bottom of the crossbar with enough momentum to get over the line, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Adding salt to the wound, it was Dahlkemper’s first NWSL regular-season goal since 2016.

In the 15th minute, pressure by Doyle on the sideline forced Hill into a bad pass back for Dahlkemper. Bright intercepted it and, after faking herself out with a stepover, played it across for Abello. Adriana ended up with the ball and enough space for a long-range attempt. The shot was dipping towards the bottom corner, but from that far out, it was comfortable for Sheridan to track it and make the stop.

The Pride had another chance in the 20th minute from another bad San Diego pass. Christen Westphal attempted to play the ball back for Meggie Dougherty Howard, but Marta picked it off and carried the ball into the Wave box. Naomi Girma challenged the Brazilian, but she got the shot off. Unfortunately, it was straight at Sheridan.

Adriana took her second shot from distance in the 26th minute. This attempt was more towards the center of the field, but she didn’t get much on the shot. Sheridan dove to her right to make the stop, but the dive was because of her positioning further towards the opposite post.

The Wave had a chance for a second in the 29th minute, when Morgan played the ball to the top of the box for Kaleigh Riehl. She laid the ball back for Dougherty Howard, who shot towards the far post, forcing Moorhouse into a diving stop.

A minute later, Dougherty Howard sent Hill behind the Pride defense. The attacker shot from the top of the box and Moorhouse got her hand to the ball, tipping over the crossbar. But the assistant’s flag was up on the initial pass, as Hill couldn’t hold her run, negating the chance.

In the 41st minute, Marta collided with Colaprico near the Pride box and referee Matthew Thompson called a foul. Colaprico hit her head on the ground, resulting in a brief delay in the action. Morgan took the free kick, but sent it over the crossbar.

Three minutes later, the Pride found the equalizer. Doyle sent Marta down the right towards the end line where she was defended by Dougherty Howard. The Brazilian used some nifty footwork to lose her defender and send the ball into the box. The cross was just over the head of four defenders and reached the head of an unmarked Adriana, who put it in for her fourth goal of the season.

“It was a brilliant goal,” Hines said about the conversion. “You know, Marta’s brilliance and a great finish by Adri.”

The Pride had the majority of the chances in the first half, but weren’t able to convert. Despite the frustration of being the more attacking team and down 1-0, they didn’t let it dampen their confidence.

“Even when we went down early, we were never in doubt,” Strom said about the resilience leading to the equalizer. “We know we can get the equalizer.”

After 45 minutes, San Diego had more possession (55.9%-44.1%), but the Pride had more shots (8-6), shots on target (4-3), corner kicks (2-1), and crosses (6-2). Both teams ended the first half completing 83% of their passes.

“The first half we sat off a bit. We knew that they’re a pretty direct team. They wanted to go long and find Alex for the flick on,” Strom said about the halftime message. “And I think what we spoke about at halftime is one of our strengths is our press, our mentality. When we went after them, they struggled a bit. We were able to read the long balls better. They were kicking it out of bounds and weren’t as successful. So I think that’s part of our identity. We’re hungry. We like to press and it caused them a lot of problems.”

“I think the first 20 minutes of the game, we were kind of passive,” Hines added about the first half. “We changed that. There was more intensity to our press, put them under pressure. Caused a lot of problems with turnovers and we got ourselves back into the game.”

While San Diego didn’t make any halftime changes, Hines made two. Mikalya Cluff and Jordyn Listro entered the game for Abello and Villacorta.

“Just energy,” Hines said about the halftime substitutions. “You know, they did extremely well when they came on last game against Chicago. I felt we were a little bit tired in the midfield, so they came on, made an impact, lots of energy, the pressing that they put into it as well, causing a lot of problems and turnovers.”

It didn’t take long for Cluff to get involved. She took a shot in the 46th minute that was well over the target, but it was her second shot that gave the Pride an opportunity. The attempt from distance was blocked by Dahlkemper, sending Sheridan the wrong way. The ball was rolling towards the far post as the Wave goalkeeper scrambled to the opposite side of the goal. Unfortunately, the ball went just wide and out for a corner kick.

The ensuing set piece by Marta reached Rafaelle at the far post, but her international teammate couldn’t redirect it on goal.

In the 53rd minute, a ball into the Pride box was headed out by McCutcheon. Morgan was the first one to it, playing a quick give-and-go with Dougherty Howard before getting a shot off from distance. It was right to Moorhouse, but the Pride goalkeeper couldn’t handle it. Hill was there to put it back on target, but Rafaelle cleared it away. The assistant’s flag went up anyway as Hill was judged to be offside.

After receiving the ball from McCutcheon in the 59th minute, Doyle played the ball around Riehl and attempted to beat her with speed. Riehl put her shoulder into Doyle, knocking the attacker down in the box. But Thompson decided it wasn’t enough for a penalty. The ball went to Makenzy Doniak and Bright took her out from behind, earning the game’s first booking.

In the 65th minute, Adriana made a long run before pulling up just outside of the box and playing it back for Cluff. It looked like Cluff would lift the ball into the box, but she played it across for McCutcheon instead. The right back attempted an ambitious shot from distance and it looked like it would sail over the target. The ball was dipping, but still went just over the crossbar.

The Pride made their third change of the game in the 65th minute as Mariana Larroquette replaced Bright.

In the 75th minute, Listro knocked the ball off the foot of Doniak, but got too much on it, conceding a corner kick. Doniak’s ensuing set piece was to the top of the six, where Carusa got inside of Larroquette. The second-half substitute headed the ball past Moorhouse and San Diego retook the lead 2-1.

“They’re a direct team. They’re very strong in the air, all over the pitch, set pieces, in the run of play,” Strom said about conceding twice on corner kicks. “It was great services, great finishes, but at the same time, we need to be better. I think it’s maybe a bit of a lack of concentration on our part. To win those first and second balls, step out, deny the shots. So, it’s something we’re definitely going to have to look at and go back to our old ways and be really resilient in those moments.”

“Anytime there’s a situation like that, you know, there’s sometimes a lapse of concentration,” Hines said about conceding on set pieces. “A moment where you relax and I think they punished us in that moment.”

The Pride almost found another equalizer in the 79th minute when Adriana carried the ball to the top of the box and played it across for McCutcheon. The defender had plenty of space to touch the ball onto her left foot and fire from distance. It was heading under the crossbar, but Sheridan was able to get a hand to it, tipping the ball over the top.

Hines made his fourth change in the 82nd minute and it was an attacking one. Forward Ally Watt came into the game for left back Strom as the Pride went to a back three looking for an equalizing goal.

The Pride had a set piece opportunity in the 86th minute when Watt’s cross was deflected out of play by Riehl. Marta’s corner kick was towards the back post, where Cluff and Dahlkemper collided. The ball popped back for Rafaelle, but her header was into the hands of Sheridan.

The fourth official showed eight minutes of second-half stoppage time, a welcome sight for the Pride. But an odd moment occurred in the second minute when Sheridan’s free kick went over the head of Dahlkemper and straight out of play near midfield. As Listro ran over to take the throw-in, Wave Head Coach Casey Stoney, sitting on a cooler, kicked the ball away. Thompson ran over and immediately issued a confused Stoney a red card.

“In the 90+2 minute, the ball came out of play for an Orlando throw-in near the San Diego Wave technical area when head coach Casey Stoney kicked the ball away,” Thompson said after the game. “She was shown the red card and sent off for ‘delaying the restart of play by the opposing team, e.g. kicking the ball away’ per the IFAB Laws of the Game Law 12.”

The Pride continued to maintain possession and push for an equalizer, but weren’t able to create any solid chances on goal. After eight minutes and nine seconds of second-half injury time, Thompson blew the final whistle and the Pride fell to San Diego for the first time, missing an opportunity to climb into a playoff spot.

At full time, the Pride had more possession (52.4%-47.6%), shots (17-8), shots on target (6-5), corners (8-2), and crosses (23-3), and passed with more accuracy (80.9%-75.5%). But the hosts were unable to find a second goal and dropped all three points.

“It’s a strange one because I thought we did enough to win the game ,” Hines said about the performance. “Obviously, football doesn’t always work out like that. We’ve been in this situation, or have sat in this seat, multiple times where we felt like we’ve done enough to win the game. It just hasn’t fallen our way.”

In addition to conceding on both corner kicks San Diego had in the game, the Pride were unable to convert, despite having many more chances than the opposition. It’s been a recurring problem for this team and one of which they’re aware.

“That’s something we spoke about,” Strom said after the game. “We need to finish our chances because San Diego is a team that if they feel like they’re in it, they’re always going to have a bit of hope. All they need is one long ball behind. And they know they can score off of that and be dangerous off of that. So we need to take our chances. We did create quite a few and then it’s just finding that end product and putting it away and gaining that momentum and putting fear in the other team.”

“Every team is going to cause us different problems,” Hines said about the offensive troubles. “And that’s what San Diego did. They made it difficult to get any clear cut opportunities. You know, there was opportunities but they weren’t clear cut. And again, we learn from it.”

The Pride came into this game two points behind San Diego for the sixth and final playoff spot. Despite the loss, Orlando still sits two points out of the playoff places — now behind OL Reign, which holds a game in hand, which will take place Sunday at Angel City.

Hines said the Pride still have a good chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

“We’re still in a really good position. We’re still chasing, but we’re still in and around it,” Hines said. “And, you know, you see how close this league is. Anyone can beat anyone on their day and we fell short today. But, you know, we’ll have that hunger and drive.”

The Pride will look to bounce back from this loss next Sunday when they take on OL Reign in Seattle in another pivotal match with postseason implications.

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Final Score 2-1 as Ally Watt and Adriana Lead Pride to Vital Win

The Pride used two first-half goals to beat the North Carolina Courage, moving up to seventh in the NWSL.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

The Orlando Pride (8-10-1, 25 points) returned home in a must-win game and took care of business, beating the North Carolina Courage (8-7-4, 28 points) 2-1 at Exploria Stadium. Ally Watt scored the earliest goal in Pride history, giving the hosts the lead inside the first minute. Adriana doubled the advantage in the 32nd minute, which was all the Pride needed. Manaka Matsukubo got one back in the 52nd minute, but North Carolina couldn’t find an equalizer and the Pride took all three points.

Despite being on the road, the Courage dominated possession in this game. The Pride played like the typical visiting team, defending fiercely and hitting the opposition on the counter attack. It was successful, as they scored twice with that method and nearly had more. The task became easier when Malia Berkely was sent off in the 78th minute, enabling the Pride to control the dying minutes.

Pride Head Coach Seb Hines made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 to OL Reign on Sept. 3 in Seattle. Carly Nelson started in goal for the suspended Anna Moorhouse, who was sent off in the third minute in the team’s most recent game. Watt entered the lineup in the striker’s role for Messiah Bright, and Adriana returned to the lineup after missing the trip out west, replacing Kerry Abello. Bright and Abello started this game on the bench.

The back line in front of Nelson was Kylie Strom, Rafaelle, Emily Madril, and Haley McCutcheon. Mikayla Cluff and Jordyn Listro were the starting defensive midfielders behind Julie Doyle, Marta, and Adriana. Watt was the lone forward up top.

Cluff and Viviana Villacorta started the season as the defensive midfield partnership. That changed to a Villacorta and Abello partnership with Cluff and Listro coming off the bench. However, Cluff and Listro have started the last two games, an interesting switch as the season nears its end.

“It’s tough decisions, right? There’s not a lot (of separation) between the four midfielders, between Jordyn, Kayla, and Vivi. They’ve all done really well this season,” Hines said about the change. “So it’s being adaptable, giving players opportunities. We felt like it was a good balance in the midfield with Kayla and Jordyn.”

The Pride got off to the best possible start in this game. Listro intercepted a Matsukubo pass at midfield and played Adriana forward. Watt ran around left back Emily Fox, reaching the ball at the top of the 18. Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy came out and got a piece of the shot, but not enough as the ball rolled in to give the Pride an early lead.

“Ally took her goal really well,” Hines said about Watt’s strike. “Very pleased for Ally because she’s put so much work into her craft the last couple of weeks. And she gets a reward with a goal.”

“I think you just realize you have — we have — full trust and faith in them with anything,” Watt said about playing with Marta and Adriana. “Adriana is called the wizard for a reason. She gets balls off in the most magical way I’ve ever seen, honestly. So, I think we just have full trust in them. So when we make the run, we fully know that we’re going to get that ball if we execute properly. And when they’re on the ball, they might do some magic on their own, but they’re going to feed it to you as well. So, we always have to be prepared for whatever they’re going to be providing, because they’re very unpredictable players. And that’s what we love about them.”

The goal crossed the line 38 seconds after kickoff, making it the earliest goal in Pride history. It was only 16 seconds off of the league record of scoring 22 seconds into a game.

“We talk about starting the game quickly,” Hines said. “You know, the first pass, first dribble, setting the tone straight from kickoff. And it’s the best way to start a game, scoring a goal.”

The Courage had their first chance of the game in the eighth minute when Ryan Williams’ cross was headed out of play by McCutcheon. Haley Hopkins jumped over Doyle to reach Berkely’s corner kick at the back post, but sent it straight to Nelson.

In the 13th minute, Williams received the ball from Kerolin and dribbled into the Pride box. The right back cut inside and played a short pass where Kerolin had run past Rafaelle. The midfielder found forward Tess Boade wide open at the top of the six-yard box, but Boade couldn’t get over the shot and sent it over the target.

A Pride goal kick in the 16th minute ended up with Rafaelle, who attempted to play it short to Strom on the side. But Kerolin intercepted it. After quickly playing a pass to the middle for an open Boade, Rafaelle took down her international teammate, earning the game’s first booking.

The ensuing free kick by Narumi Miura was short to Kerolin and the Brazilian lifted the ball to the top of the six. Nelson came out strong, initially fumbling the ball after midair contact with an opposing attacker, but eventually collecting it. Kaleigh Kurtz charged into Nelson and both players went to the ground. Referee Danielle Chesky called a foul on Kurtz, ending the North Carolina threat.

The Pride had a chance to double their lead in the 24th minute when Watt found Adriana in the box from the left. Miura got in front of the shot, blocking it back to the midfielder. Adriana took a second shot, but Miura got in front of that one as well, enabling the Courage to clear.

The Pride scored their second goal right after the restart of the first-half hydration break. Nelson restarted with a goal kick to Strom, who sent the ball forward for Adriana. The attacker left it for Marta, whose back heel was blocked by Berkely, but it went right back to her. The second pass attempt by Marta was wide to Doyle, who sent Adriana behind the Courage back line with her first touch. As Miura attempted to catch up with the Brazilian, Murphy stayed on her goal line. Adriana put it into the corner of the net from the top of the six-yard box, giving the Pride a 2-0 lead.

“I saw Marta get it, and whenever Marta gets it on her left foot, that means I’ve got to run into the back space, because I know that she can find me through. And that’s what she did,” Doyle said about her assist. “And then I saw Adriana had a ton of space in behind, because they were really high. And Adriana’s so fast. I’m just like, all I have to do is get it to her and I know that she’ll do great things. And that’s what we saw.”

Poor passing in the 44th minute nearly gave the Pride a chance for a third when Murphy played a short ball to Berkely in the Courage box. The center back nonchalantly sent it back to her goalkeeper, wide of the target. Watt, one of the league’s fastest players, attempted to beat Murphy to the ball and got a piece as Murphy attempted to clear it. But the visitors were able to get it away without any damage.

At halftime, North Carolina had far more possession (69.4%-30.6%), but couldn’t do much with it. Meanwhile, the Pride were happy to hit them on the counter, resulting in a halftime lead. While both teams had four first-half shots, the Pride put two on target and the Courage put one on frame. North Carolina also led the Pride in corner kicks (1-0) and crosses (6-1), and passed more accurately (91.6%-74.2%).

“Going into the second half, we changed our formation a little bit when we had that water break, so we just went over it again. Because passing information is difficult in that kind of situation,” Watt said about the halftime message. “(Hines) was telling us that I’m going to put the pressure on you. You guys are 2-0 up, and that’s a dangerous lead to have. They can come in and score and get momentum, and they certainly did score, but we did a really good job hanging onto it. And then the red card happened and we were just able to take control of the game and everything.”

The Pride created a pair of chances within the first five minutes of the second half. In the 48th minute, a Kurtz pass across for Miura was intercepted by Watt. The forward sprinted towards the Courage box, pulling up when Berkely got in front of her. Adriana called for the ball, but Watt took the long-distance shot herself. It didn’t cause any trouble for Murphy at the near post, who easily collected it.

A minute later, the Pride went on another counterattack. Doyle turned her defender and played a give-and-go with Marta on the left. The midfielder sent a low cross into the box for Adriana, but it was too far in front of her and Fox cleared it away.

The two missed opportunities proved costly in the 52nd minute when North Carolina got a goal back. Hopkins played the ball wide for Fox and the defender sent a cross into the box. Hopkins had made a run, but let the ball run past her to Matsukubo waiting behind, unmarked. The 19-year-old didn’t miss her opportunity, putting it past Nelson to cut the Pride lead to 2-1.

Three minutes later, the Courage had a chance for an equalizer when Kerolin sent a cross toward Fox in the middle of the box. The left back redirected the ball towards goal, but couldn’t get over it and the attempt went over the crossbar.

Shortly after the miss, Hines made his first substitution of the night. Regular starting striker Bright entered the game for Watt. The Pride made two more changes in the 64th and 65th minutes, replacing Doyle and Cluff with Abello and Villacorta.

A controversial moment occurred in the 66th minute when Adriana dribbled into the North Carolina box. She cut inside to beat Kerolin, before Fox came back to win the ball. The ball popped up and appeared to hit Fox’s arm at the edge of the box, which was up to shield her face. The play is only reviewable for a penalty, but the video assistant referee didn’t call for Chesky to take a look.

“In the 66th minute, the referee observed the ball hit the NC Courage player’s hand, which was in a natural position,” Chesky responded after the game. “At the next stoppage, the VAR checked the incident and confirmed no clear or obvious error.”

The comeback got more difficult for the Courage in the 78th minute when Berkely was sent off. A short free kick to the center back resulted in a bad pass into the box. Madril got to it first, sending it downfield. Adriana was the first to the ball and used her speed to get behind Berkely. The center back, who was clearly the last defender, took down the midfielder and Chesky immediately issued a red card. The VAR checked the play and confirmed the decision, giving the Pride a player advantage for the final 12 minutes.

The Pride nearly took advantage and scored a third in the 82nd minute when Marta’s shot was blocked out by Kurtz. The ensuing corner kick by Adriana found a wide-open Rafaelle beyond the back post. The center back’s header was off the outside of the post, keeping the score at 2-1.

The fourth official showed five minutes of second-half stoppage time, but that was increased when Rafaelle’s inadvertent elbow found the head of Courage substitute Tyler Lussi. Blood was dripping down her face, so the forward needed to change her shirt and shorts. Hines took the opportunity to make two final changes, replacing Adriana and Listro with Brianna Martinez and Celia.

While the Pride had a defensive lineup for the final minutes, the 10-player Courage were unable to create any chances. The Pride did well to maintain possession, continuously taking it to the corner to run the clock out. It was a successful strategy as they held on for a crucial win.

North Carolina ended the game with significantly more possession (67.2%-32.8%), but was unable to create more chances with it. Both teams had 10 shots and the Pride put more on target (3-2). The Courage had more crosses (14-11) and passed more accurately (88.7%-73.2%). The Pride had more corner kicks (4-2).

“Massive win tonight,” Hines said. “Running out of games now. Only three games to go and we have to give absolutely everything. I think looking back, you know, some of the performances are brilliant. We haven’t rewarded ourselves with the three points and you know, I’m so happy that we were able to get up in the game, take our opportunities. And a lot of credit has to go to the players, because they’re the ones who are competing, going out there day in, day out in training and performing at such a high level in the field. We’ve made it uncomfortable for North Carolina, going up in the game and then not giving them too much to try and play through the lines and stop that rhythm. But you have to have the right mindset to do that, and I felt everyone from back to front did their job and they were brilliant at their job.”

“We’ve been working so freaking hard, and it’s so nice to finally get the reward, because I think you’ve seen this team have games like this and sometimes it just doesn’t go our way,” Doyle added. “So for it to finally go our way, it’s just such a relief.”

It was a unique home game for the Pride because the hosts usually have the majority of possession. It was the opposite in this one because the Courage dominated possession and the Pride had to maintain their concentration. That’s something the team has had trouble with this season, especially on set pieces.

“We knew they’re a team that gets 500 passes per game. So credit to them,” Doyle said. “They’re a super good football team, so we knew we had to be disciplined in our defensive shape. That’s what we’ve been working on all week and we really just had to stay compact.”

The win sees the Pride jump the Houston Dash, Racing Louisville FC, and Angel City FC, from 10th to seventh place. They’re now only one point behind the Washington Spirit for the sixth and final playoff spot. While they’re tied with Angel City on points, the Pride currently hold the tiebreaker on goal difference.

The Pride now have a two-week break before they take the field again. They were supposed to play Angel City in Los Angeles on Thursday night, but that game was delayed until Oct. 2 because of the upcoming international break.

Continue Reading

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Orlando Pride return home after a two-week break to face the North Carolina Courage at Exploria Stadium.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (7-10-1, 22 points) welcome the North Carolina Courage (8-6-4, 28 points) to Exploria Stadium. This is the fourth meeting between these two teams this year and the second in the NWSL regular season.

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.


The Pride and Courage have played 22 times since the Western New York Flash moved to North Carolina and became the Courage. The Pride are 4-13-5 in those games (4-10-1 in the NWSL regular season, 0-0-2 in the Fall Series, and 0-3-2 in the NWSL Challenge Cup).

The most recent meeting between the two teams was a July 29 Challenge Cup contest in North Carolina. The Pride didn’t show up for that one, getting demolished by the Courage. Brittany Radcliffe and Malia Berkely gave the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead before Frankie Tagliaferri made it three, and a late brace by Haley Hopkins completed the 5-0 result.

The game prior to that was on June 17 in North Carolina and, again, it was all Courage. Kerolin and Meredith Speck gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before a Haley McCutcheon own goal made it 3-0 to North Carolina. On April 19 at Exploria Stadium, the Pride took the lead after halftime when Summer Yates set up Ally Watt for the opening goal. But Denise O’Sullivan equalized in the ninth minute of second-half injury time, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

Prior to that game, they last played on Sept. 21, 2022, at Exploria Stadium. The Courage got off to a great start when Debinha scored in the second minute. The Brazilian then assisted Tess Boade in first-half injury time to double the lead, and later added another, dooming the Pride to a 3-0 defeat.

The previous 2022 meeting came on May 18 in North Carolina. The Pride got off to a great start in that game, with Sydney Leroux scoring early. Mikayla Cluff doubled the lead with her first professional goal. A late goal by Brianna Pinto got the Courage back within one, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride took the 2-1 win.

The Pride and Courage were placed in the same division for the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, so the teams played twice before the regular season started. The first game was on March 26 in North Carolina. Merritt Mathias converted a penalty after Gunny Jonsdottir was called for a handball in the box, lifting the hosts to a 1-0 win. The return match in the tournament took place on April 16 in Orlando. The Courage got off to a fast start in this one, scoring three goals in the first nine minutes. Darian Jenkins netted a brace to make it 3-2, but a late Debinha goal put the game away and North Carolina won 4-2.

The teams played three times during the 2021 NWSL season. On May 22 in North Carolina, goals by Leroux and Alex Morgan gave the Pride a 2-0 lead late into the game. Jessica McDonald scored late to pull one back but the Pride held on for a 2-1 win. On July 4 in Orlando, Debinha and Havana Solaun goals helped the Courage take home a 2-0 win. The final game came on July 31 in North Carolina. Leroux opened the scoring but Brittany Ratcliffe equalized moments later and the teams drew 1-1.

The two teams were also matched up in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup but they only played once in that tournament. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in that game in a scoreless draw.

Similar to the Challenge Cup, the teams were in the same group of the 2020 Fall Series, meeting twice. The first was on Sept. 19 in North Carolina and ended in a scoreless draw. The second was on Oct. 17 at Exploria Stadium. Led by a Debinha brace, the Courage went up 3-0. But the Pride came back with goals by Marisa Viggiano, Kristen Edmonds, and Ally Haran for an exciting 3-3 draw.

The Pride and Courage played three times during the 2019 season. The first game was on April 17 in North Carolina. The Courage took a 1-0 lead into halftime but scored four times in the second half to win 5-0. They played a second time on June 1 in Orlando. Again, it was a dominant performance by the Courage as the Pride fell 3-0. The final meeting that year was another thrashing by North Carolina. The Pride got a goal in that one but still fell 6-1.

The teams also met three times in 2018 but the results were much closer. On May 23 in Orlando, goals by Alanna Kennedy and Rachel Hill saw the Pride come back from a 3-1 deficit. But McDonald scored a winner in the 90th minute and the Courage won 4-3. The Pride went down by three goals in the final two games that season, but were unable to come back and fell 3-0 in both contests.

The 2017 season saw the teams meet for the first time. The Courage took the first game 3-1 on Apr. 29 in North Carolina. They played a second time two weeks later in Orlando when the Pride took the 3-1 win. The final meeting in 2017 came in the final game of the season on Sept. 30. The Pride took a 2-0 lead but the Courage came back to even it at 2-2. It looked headed for a draw until Kennedy netted a late winner, leading the Pride to a 3-2 win.


Three games ago, the Pride were in a great position to qualify for the NWSL playoffs for the second time in team history. They were two points out of sixth and facing the team occupying that spot in two consecutive games. They fell 2-1 to San Diego Wave FC at home on Aug. 25 and fought valiantly, despite being down a player for almost all of the 1-0 loss against OL Reign.

The Pride now find themselves in a tough position. They’re four points behind the Washington Spirit with four games remaining, but there are three teams between them. Angel City FC and Racing Louisville FC are two of those three teams and the Pride will face both in the coming weeks. Regardless, they’ll likely need to finish the season on a four-game winning streak to qualify for the postseason.

The quest for their longest winning streak of the season and the longest since 2017 begins tonight. The team will be without starting goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse, who was sent off in the third minute against OL Reign two weeks ago. Carly Nelson will take her spot in the lineup after a terrific display in Seattle.

The key attacking player missing against OL Reign was Adriana, whose four league goals are second on the Pride behind Messiah Bright’s six, and her three assists lead the team. She wasn’t on the availability report prior to the game in Seattle but didn’t make the trip. Her return tonight would be a boost to a team that desperately needs three points.

The Courage suffered back-to-back 2-1 losses to Angel City FC and the Portland Thorns on either side of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup break, but have grabbed draws in their last two games against the Chicago Red Stars and NJ/NY Gotham FC. The latter of those games saw the Courage take a 2-0 lead into halftime only to give up three goals in the second half, drawing 3-3.

While the Pride were off last weekend, the Courage hosted Racing Louisville in the Challenge Cup final. North Carolina won the trophy in a storm-delayed game with goals by Kerolin and Japanese international Manaka Matsukubo.

The player to stop for North Carolina is Brazilian international Kerolin, who leads her team with nine goals and three assists. She’s been a terror against the Pride in the previous games and keeping her off the scoresheet will be key if the Pride hope to get anything from this final meeting between the teams.

The Courage have a balanced lineup with a consistent back line that has resulted in them having the second-best goal difference in the league. Their 26 goals scored is tied with the Wave for second-most, and their 19 goals conceded is tied with Gotham and Louisville for second fewest.

“Obviously, they’ve had some success with winning the Challenge Cup. So they’ll have some good momentum, high spirits,” Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said about tonight’s opponent. “But, as always, we have to focus on ourselves. We’ve lost our last two games, but in that, the performances have been good. Obviously, different circumstances, but the performances have been pretty consistent all season. We want to continue to make this a difficult environment to play. We’re playing against arguably the best footballing team in the league, so it will be a really good challenge for us, but our mindset is win every game that comes towards us.”

North Carolina is without six players tonight. Emily Gray (knee), Clara Robbins (lower leg), and Meredith Speck (knee) are out for the season. Estelle Johnson (thigh), Rikako Kobayashi (knee), and Brittany Ratcliffe (thigh) are also out for this game.

The Pride are only missing two players tonight and both were expected. Carrie Lawrence (knee) is out for the season and Moorhouse is serving her one-game suspension after being sent off last week.

Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Carly Nelson.

Defenders: Kylie Strom, Rafaelle, Emily Madril, Haley McCutcheon.

Defensive Midfielders: Mikayla Cluff, Jordyn Listro.

Midfielders: Julie Doyle, Marta, Adriana.

Forward: Ally Watt.

Bench: McKinley Crone, Erika Tymrak, Megan Montefusco, Messiah Bright, Mariana Larroquette, Kerry Abello, Viviana Villacorta, Brianna Martinez, Celia.

North Carolina Courage (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Casey Murphy. 

Defenders: Ryan Williams, Kaleigh Kurtz, Malia Berkely, Emily Fox.

Defensive Midfielders: Narumi Miura, Denise O’Sullivan.

Midfielders: Kerolin, Manaka Matsukubo, Haley Hopkins.

Forwards: Tess Boade.

Bench: Katelyn Rowland, Brianna Pinto, Sydney Collins, Kiki Pickett, Olivia Wingate, Mille Gejl, Frankie Tagliaferri, Tyler Lussi, Rikke Madsen.


REF: Danielle Chesky.
AR1: Bennett Savage.
AR2: Cameron Siler.
4TH: JJ Bilinski.
VAR: Alexandra Billeter.
AVAR: Joel McKell.

How to Watch

Match Time: 7 p.m.

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.

TV: FOX 35 Plus.

Streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.), (International).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @TheManeLand and the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride).

Enjoy the match. Go Pride!

Continue Reading

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Tori Hansen and Kaylie Collins To New Deals

The Pride have signed center back Tori Hansen goalkeeper Kaylie Collins to new contracts and sent them on loan to Australia.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride announced tonight that defender Tori Hansen and goalkeeper Kaylie Collins have signed new contracts through the 2024 NWSL season. Both players were subsequently sent on loan, with Hansen going to Melbourne Victory FC and Collins to Western Sydney Wanderers FC of the A-League Women in Australia for the 2023-2024 season.

“Tori has worked hard this season, and we believe she has a bright future ahead. So we’re excited to agree to a new contract and to work with her further on her development,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “It was a priority that we find a high-performance environment where Tori can get valuable match minutes and leadership opportunities and the team and staff at Melbourne Victory offer just that. We are excited for Tori for this next step in her career and look forward to supporting her upcoming season in Australia.”

The Pride selected Hansen with the first pick of the third round (25th overall) in the 2023 NWSL Draft out of the University of North Carolina and signed her on March 29 to a one-year deal with an option year. The center back played sparingly during her first three seasons with the Tar Heels, but started 26 games during her senior year, recording eight goals and two assists. That one season was enough for selection into the first-division league.

Hansen started the first two Challenge Cup games during her rookie season with the Pride, playing all 180 minutes. She surprised everyone during the second game of the competition, scoring the opening goal in the 10th minute of a 4-2 loss at the Washington Spirit on May 10. Despite only making those two appearances, she was on the bench for the other four Challenge Cup games and nine league games. But she didn’t appear on the team sheet after the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup when Rafaelle was signed and Megan Montefusco was sent to the bench.

Collins was initially selected by the Pride in the 2021 NWSL Draft in the fourth round (34th overall) out of the University of Southern California, where she was named to the All-Pac 12 team twice. She didn’t appear in her rookie season with the Pride, but played one Challenge Cup game last year, a 1-1 draw against NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Despite the departure of starter Erin McLeod prior to this season, Collins remained the third choice goalkeeper behind Anna Moorhouse and the newly-signed Carly Nelson. She’s made two appearances, a league start on April 15 against Gotham and a May 10 Challenge Cup start against the Spirit. She’s conceded seven goals in her three professional games, saving 10 of her 17 shots faced.

“Since joining the club in 2021, Kaylie has been a valuable member of our goalkeeping corps and has continued to grow as both a player and a person. We believe she has the potential to become a top goalkeeper in this league, and gaining competitive experience and meaningful game minutes while in Australia is critical to her development,” Carter said about Collins in a press release. “We’re looking forward to cheering her on during the A-League season and keeping track of her progress over the next few months.”

What It Means for Orlando

It might seem odd to give these players new contracts and immediately send them out on loan, but both contracts run through the 2024 NWSL season and they’ll be playing through the winter months. These new contracts enable the Pride to keep them on their books while they play during the off-season and bring them back in the for 2024 campaign. Both will have the chance to develop in a good, competitive league.

Since Hansen’s been on the team sheet 15 times this season, the Pride clearly think she can contribute. They currently have six defenders that can play center back, including Carrie Lawrence, who suffered a season-ending injury during preseason. Three of those six players — Caitlin Cosme (24), Emily Madril (24), and Hansen (22) — are 24 years old or younger, and Hansen is the youngest of the group. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said during the draft that Hansen was a long-term project, and at just 22, there’s still plenty of time for her to develop.

Collins is the third-string goalkeeper and, at 24 years old, the youngest of the goalkeeping group. Moorhouse is only 28 and Nelson is only 25, but Moorhouse’s contract expires after this season. Meanwhile, Nelson’s runs through 2024. Whether Collins will be second or third on the depth chart next season largely depends on whether Moorhouse returns next season.

Continue Reading