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Boyds, MD (July 8, 2017) – The Washington Spirit played the Orlando Pride to a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon in the first ever NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week played at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
After trailing for the majority of the second half, Washington equalized in the 90th minute on a penalty kick earned by Kristie Mewis and converted by U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh, who recorded the first brace of her professional career in the draw.
“I’m extremely proud of the team and how they continued to fight to the finish,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “I’m especially pleased with how many chances we created at the end of the game and continued to fight to try and get three points.”
Five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta struck the net once in each half, putting Orlando on top 1-0 in the 10th minute with a converted PK, and again 11 minutes into the second half on an unassisted shot from the center of the box into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Pugh scored a goal in each half for the Spirit, equalizing once in the 24th minute and again in the 90th. Her first score came on a left-footed strike from the center of the box, placing the shot inside the right post after receiving a perfectly-placed entry pass from Nigeria Women’s National Team forward Francisca Ordega. The assist marked Ordega’s team-leading third of the season.
Washington outshot Orlando 18-16 overall, and recorded seven shots on target to the Pride’s four. Orlando controlled 56.5 percent of the possession to the Spirit’s 43.5.
Midfielder Tori Huster led the Spirit with 48 total passes in the game, followed by Argentine international Estefanía Banini and Pugh with 44 and 40, respectively. Orlando’s Alanna Kennedy led all players with 60 total passes, two more than Stephanie Catley’s 58.
On the defensive side, Estelle Johnson had a team-high six clearances and four interceptions for the Spirit. Kassey Kallman, Caprice Dydasco, Meggie Dougherty Howard and Huster notched three tackles each to lead Washington.
Orlando’s Kristen Edmonds had a game-high five tackles and Ali Krieger led all players with nine clearances and four blocks. Canadian international goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé made two saves for the Spirit, while Orlando’s Aubrey Bledsoe made five in the draw.
The Spirit will play its next four games on the road, starting with a trip to Texas to face the Houston Dash next Saturday, July 15. The team will play its next home game at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, August 12 against the Boston Breakers. Tickets for all Washington Spirit home games are available now at Tickets.WashingtonSpirit.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride
Date: July 8, 2017
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 3:50 p.m. ET
ORL – Marta (PK) 10’
WAS – Mallory Pugh (Francisca Ordega) 24’
ORL – Marta 56’
WAS – Mallory Pugh (PK) 90’
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Kristen Edmonds, Ali Krieger ©, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Alanna Kennedy, Camila (Jamia Fields 78’), Dani Weatherholt, Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan (Rachel Hill 63’), Marta (Maddy Evans 90’)
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Monica; Nickolette Driesse; Jasmyne Spencer
Washington Spirit: Stephanie Labbé ; Estelle Johnson (Caprice Dydasco 75’), Whitney Church, Shelina Zadorsky (c), Kassey Kallman; Tori Huster, Meggie Dougherty Howard (Kristie Mewis 81’), Estefania Banini; Havana Solaun (Cheyna Williams 64’), Mallory Pugh, Francisca Ordega
Substitutes Not Used: DiDi Haracic; Alyssa Kleiner; Lindsay Agnew, Arielle Ship
Stats Summary: WAS / ORL
Possession: 49.5% / 50.5%
Shots: 18 / 16
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 1 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 3 / 5
Referee: Henrik Karlsson
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Felice
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Will Aten