Marta Scores First NWSL Goal as Orlando Pride Draw 1-1 against FC Kansas City
Jasmyne Spencer earns first assist of the season
Orlando Pride (0-2-2, 4 points) earned its second draw of the season on Sunday night, seeing a 1-1 result against FC Kansas City (1-2-1, 4 points) at Swope Soccer Village.
After a series of opportunities throughout the match, Marta got on the board first, scoring her first National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) goal in the second half.
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“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when you give a player of Marta’s caliber that opportunity, she’s going to put it away. The goal was a long time coming and I’m pleased with the pressure we put on Kansas City to create the chance,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “But overall, I think it’s a disappointing result because I believe we should have walked away with three points from the game. We still need to capitalize on the opportunities we are given. Now, we look ahead to hosting a very good North Carolina team next week.”
Orlando entered the locker room after a first 45 that included control over possession and a number of opportunities, but the score held without a goal.
But the deadlock was broken in the 73rd minute when Marta opened her NWSL scoring account. Kristen Edmonds got the play started, pouncing on a mishandled ball from Erika Tymrak and quickly sending the ball to Jasmyne Spencer, who entered the match in the 64th minute, in the middle of the box. Spencer took a collecting touch, then left the ball for the Brazilian forward who used an overlapping run to deceive the defenders. Marta took a hard left-footed shot, beating Nicole Barnhart on the short side.
The home side tied things up shortly before second-half stoppage time when Yael Averbuch’s free kick from just outside the box ringed off the post and caused a flurry in the six. After a series of deflections, Tymrak squeezed a shot through to level the game.
The Pride were forced to switch up their line up three minutes in when Dani Weatherholt replaced Monica. The Brazilian international, making her fourth start at holding midfield, suffered an injury in just the first minute of play after a hard collision at midfield.
Rookie Danica Evans made her first professional start on Sunday evening, playing 64 minutes and showcasing her signature flip throws throughout her appearance.
Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris came up with a big stop in the 67th minute after Lo LaBonta’s shot caromed off of the crossbar and to Sydney Leroux at the top of the box. Leroux took a quick, one-timed strike across the goal but Harris made a quick recovery and dove to her right to punch the ball away.
The Pride will return home for their second match at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday, May 14 to host the North Carolina Courage. The two teams met just a week ago, with the Courage taking a 3-1 final at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Tickets to the 5 p.m. ET match are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: FC Kansas City vs. Orlando Pride
Date: May 7, 2017
Venue: Swope Soccer Village
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris (c); Ali Krieger, Alanna Kennedy, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Maddy Evans (Jamia Fields 83′), Kristen Edmonds, Monica (Dani Weatherholt 4′); Camila, Danica Evans (Jasmyne Spencer 64′), Marta
Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Laura Alleway; Nickolette Driesse; Chioma Ubogagu
FC Kansas City: Nicole Barnhart; Brittany Taylor, Becky Sauerbrunn, Yael Averbuch, Christina Gibbons; Katie Bowen (Erika Tymrak 64′), Lo LaBonta, Desiree Scott, Brittany Ratcliffe (Alexa Newfield 70′); Sydney Leroux, Shea Groom (Maegan Kelly 83′)
Substitutes Not Used: Cat Parkhill; Brianne Reed, Becca Moros; Caroline Flynn
Stats Summary: KC / ORL
Possession: 47.1% / 52.9%
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0
KC – Sydney Leroux (Yellow Card) 45+1′
ORL – Maddy Evans (Yellow Card) 60′
Referee: Marco Vega
Assistant Referee 1: Jeremy Week
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Jeff
Fourth Official: Devin Blazek
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