Orlando Pride taste victory for first time with defeat of North Carolina Courage

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando Pride (1-2-2, 5 points) entered Sunday’s Mother’s Day match ready to do battle for its first win of the season over the undefeated North Carolina Courage (4-1-0, 12 points.) The Pride took a two-goal lead in a span of 70 seconds in the second half and added another late in the game to record a superb 3- 1 win at Orlando City Stadium.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

““From a coaching perspective I was feeling the heat,” said Pride coach Tom Sermanni (pictured above.) “It’s great to get the first win against, at the moment, the best team in the league and the most difficult team in the league to play against. I’m really delighted with the effort of the players and the focus today and the way they defended because playing North Carolina, you need to do a lot of defending from corner kicks, throw-ins and other things coming into the box. We still need to do some things a little bit better, as we always do. But I think the difference today was we got in front and that eases the pressure and allows us to play a little bit. I think getting this first result will give us the confidence to then kick on and hopefully eliminate the stuff that was costing us games previously.”

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After a dull first half the game ignited in the 49th minute as the Pride took the lead when Chioma Ubogagu (pictured above) neatly finished a driven cross from the right hand side by Ali Krieger. It was Ubogagu’s first goal of the season and made the Pride the first team to take the lead against North Carolina this season.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Barely a minute later the Pride added a second. Camila won the ball from North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper in midfield and raced towards goal. The Brazilian played a quick one-two with Jamia Fields before finishing calmly past goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo.

North Carolina quickly grabbed a goal back virtually from the restart as Lynn Williams charged down the left hand flank before cutting the ball back to Debinha who took a touch just inside the area and neatly slotted home to the Ashlyn Harris’s left hand side.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Courage seemed inspired by the goal and in the 53rd minute a good save from Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris stopped a Samantha Mewis effort from leveling things up.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Courage captain Abby Erceg then saw red in the 57th minute for a second yellow card as she recklessly bundled Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds over in the 57th minute.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Second-half substitute Jasmyne Spencer sealed the game for the home side twenty minutes after coming on as she timed a run to collect a Marta pass before burying her 11th career goal into the right side of the net in the 82nd minute.

Orlando Pride 3 North Carolina Courage 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th May 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando now travels across the country, facing Seattle Reign FC on 21st May 2017. The match will kickoff at 9:30 p.m. ET from Memorial Stadium.

The Pride then return to Orlando City Stadium on June 3, hosting the Boston Breakers at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Ali Krieger, Alanna Kennedy, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Kristen Edmonds, Dani Weatherholt (Maddy Evans 66’), Camila; Chioma Ubogagu (Jasmyne Spencer 63’), Jamia Fields (Christina Burkenroad 82’), Marta

Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Toni Pressley; Nickolette Driesse; Danica Evans

North Carolina: Sabrina D’Angelo; Abby Dahlkemper, Abby Erceg ©, Yuri Kawamura; Samantha Mewis, Makenzy Doniak (Meredith Speck 82’), McCall Zerboni, Debinha, Sam Witteman (Taylor Smith 56’); Jessica MacDonald (Ashley Hatch 68’), Lynn Williams

Substitutes Not Used: Katelyn Rowland; Courtney Niemiec; Rosana; Kristen Hamilton

Attendance: 5,260

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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