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Washington Spirit earns 2-0 win over Orlando Pride in 2018 NWSL Home Opener

Boyds, MD (March 31, 2018) – A pair of late second half goals propelled the Washington Spirit to a 2-0 victory over the Orlando Pride on Saturday afternoon, with 4,989 fans on hand at the Maryland SoccerPlex. [Full Highlights]

Mallory Pugh’s breakaway strike in the 80th minute and Ashley Hatch’s 88th minute goal, paired with a clean sheet effort by Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledose and the back line resulted in Washington’s first win of the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League regular season in the club’s home opener.

After 79 minutes of scoreless soccer, Pugh netted what proved to be the game-winner, with Hatch providing the assist. After receiving the pass from Hatch, the 19-year-old U.S. international forward burst into the box and nutmegged Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris for her seventh career NWSL goal. [WATCH]

Just eight minutes later, Hatch sealed the game with a close range, unassisted strike from the center of the box, finishing into the bottom left corner of the net. [WATCH]

Washington controlled 55 percent of the possession and outshot Orlando 7-3 in the first half, while the Pride recorded the only two shots on frame of the opening period. Both resulted in saves by Bledsoe.

[+WATCH: Tori Huster honored for milestone 100th NWSL regular season appearance]

In the second half, U.S. international midfielder Andi Sullivan notched Washington’s first shot on target in the 58th minute. Sullivan’s right-footed shot from 35 toward the center of the goal, leading to Harris’ first save of the afternoon.

The Spirit found the net twice in the second period despite Orlando controlling 60.4 percent of the possession. Throughout the course of the game, Washington and Orlando each recorded 14 shots, with three on target for the Spirit and four on frame for the Pride.

Spirit defenders Caprice Dydasco, Estelle Johnson, Whitney Church and U.S. international Taylor Smith all played the full 90 minutes on the back line in the club’s first shutout of the young season.

Following the upcoming FIFA international break, Washington will return to NWSL action on Saturday, April 14 for a home game against the North Carolina Courage. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Maryland SoccerPlex. [TICKETS]

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride
Date: March 31, 2018

Venue: Maryland Soccerplex
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 4,989

Weather: Sunny, Low 60s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Washington (1-1-0, 3 pts) 0 2 2
Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 pt) 0 0 0

WAS – Mallory Pugh (Ashley Hatch) 80’
WAS – Ashley Hatch 88’

Lineups:

Washington Spirit: Aubrey Bledsoe, Estelle Johnson, Taylor Smith, Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Havana Solaun (Meggie Dougherty Howard, 68’), Andi Sullivan, Rebecca Quinn (Joanna Lohman 56’), Ashley Hatch, Mallory Pugh, Francisca Ordega (Mallory Eubanks 87’)

Substitutes Not Used: Morgan Proffitt, Kelsey Wys, Tori Huster, Tiffany Weimer

Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris, Shelina Zadorsky, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Ali Krieger, Rachel Hill, Dani Weatherholt (Bridget Callahan 90’), Christine Nairn, Chioma Ubogagu (Danica Evans 74’), Kristen Edmonds, Sydney Leroux

Substitutes Not Used: Abby Elinsky, Nádia Gomes, Lotta Okvist, Christine Creighton, Haley Kopmeyer

Stats Summary: WAS / ORL
Possession: 47.8 / 52.2 %
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 7 / 5
Offside: 2 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
WAS – Whitney Church (Yellow Card) 44’

Officials:
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Karl Kummer