ORLANDO, FL – Orlando Pride (5-9-7, 22 points) ended their home 2022 season with a 2-2 draw on Sunday against expansion team the San Diego Wave (10-6-5, 35 points) on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium.
Over 6,400 fans cheered on the Pride as the put on a strong performance against the Waves, leading the match by a 2-0 lead late into the second half.
This team, this was eliminated from playoff contention last week with a loss to Racing Louisville, played as if they had something at stake. Their namesake, “Pride”
“I am really proud of the players.”Said Interim Head Coach Set Hines “It has been tough the last four games [with] injuries, three-game week, and you could see, today, they went above and beyond to try and get a result today.”
Since being inserted as Interim head coach early in the season, Hines has injected a “never quit”, “Never Say Die” attitude with the Orlando squad. Despite an overall change in the roster in the offseason and seemingly constant shifts in who is on the pitch, the Pride always fought, never quit, and put quality only on the pitch.
On Sunday, things really got going with Meggie Dougherty Howard in the first half.
In the 33rd minute, MDH gathered a ball from Haley Hanson and fired a rocket into the back of the net for he 1-0 lead.
Later in the 68th minute, the Pride added to their leadwhen second-half substitute Haley Bugeja got in behind the Wave backline and laid the ball back for Courtney Petersen. Petersen whipped a cross into the box that found the head of Gunny Jónsdóttir, who made no mistake with the finish for the goal.
But , as with soccer, if you make mistakes, they make you pay.
Second-half substitute Kelsey Turnbow sent in a cross that found an open Makenzy Doniak in the middle of the box who flicked the ball with her head into the back of the net, moving the score to 2-1, and making fans nervous.
Taylor Korniak tied the score after the Wave ran a set piece. The ball bounced around in the box, finding Korniak’s foot for a blast into the net for the San Diego equalizer.
The attendance of 6,466 is the highest tally of the regular season at Exploria Stadium for the Pride, and was an encouraging send off frothier 2022 home season.
The Pride close out the 2022 season on the road, traveling to face OL Reign on Saturday, October 1 at Lumen Field.