The Orlando Pride put on a clinic last night and grabbed a must win over the Washington Spirit 3-0. The win helps the Pride make up 3 of the 4 points they were behind 4th place slot in the playoff hunt.
Alex Morgan, Camilla, and Marta scored goals to put Orlando one point out of fourth place, just under the playoff line. Washington, who had just won their first road game this year against New Jersey Sky Blue on Saturday, continued it’s losing woes on the road.
Pride Coach Tom Sermanni was thrilled with the result.
“Obviously a terrific win for us and a clean sheet, which is fantastic. [It was] difficult in the first half because they really high pressed us and we kind of expected that. I thought when they broke the press that we had [chances] to create opportunities and we did it quite well a couple of times but we could have done it a little bit better. But then we felt the game would open up the second half and when it did we would create opportunities and that’s exactly what happened. I was really delighted with our second half performance and how we played, how critical we were with our finishing and how well we managed the game after that. I thought it was an extremely good performance in the second half. We also spoke to international players the other day, and we talked about [how] our big players [need to come] out big at this time of the season, and it is great tonight because that’s exactly what happened.”
Marta started the scoring, hitting pay dirt on a give-and-go with Alex Morgan in the 52nd minute. Morgan’s pass set up Marta one on one against Washington goalkeeper Stefanie Labbé. The 5 time world player of the year shook off Labbe and stumbled towards the goal but managed to tap one into pay dirt before hitting the grass.
Five minutes later, Camilla used her skill to take advantage of Labbé. Alanna Kennedy sent Morgan running in on goal, Labbé made a strong play, heading the ball away from an onrushing Morgan just outside of the penalty area. However, her clearance went right to Camila 40-yards out. Fresh off two goals in the Tournament of Nations, the young, 22-year-old wasted no time, sending in a one-touch, inside of the foot volley for her fourth goal of the season.
Morgan, already with an assist on the night, finished off the team’s scoring with a blasted volley in the 65th minute. Left back Steph Catley, who was rested during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chicago, placed a perfect long ball to the forward, which fell at the top of the 18-yard box. Morgan wasted no time, striking the ball off the half volley with her laces and powering the shot into the goal. It was Morgan’s third straight goal in as many home games.
The Pride wrap up a three-game homestand on Saturday evening, hosting Sky Blue FC at 7:30 p.m. ET