Spirit Draws Pride After Late Orlando Rally

Washington Spirit  |   May 28, 2022
Spirit Draws Pride After Late Orlando Rally Featured Image

Sam Pittman
Orlando, FL (05/27/2022) – The Washington Spirit seemed well on its way to a 2-0 victory over the Orlando Pride after seemingly controlling all facets of the match for 90 minutes. A lengthy stoppage time period, however, proved beneficial to the host side as the Pride scored two goals in the final four minutes of the match to steal a decision from the defending champs.

While Washington had only three shots on goal in the match, it maintained a steady attack of scoring chances throughout Friday night’s action. In the ninth minute, Ashley Sanchez took a free kick from immediately outside the box that was blocked and then fired a rebound shot high. Three minutes later, newcomer Audrey Harding had an open attempt in front of the net from close range but sent her shot wide left.

The Spirit broke the seal in the 19th minute when reigning rookie of the year Trinity Rodman fired a crossing shot from outside the box to the lower left corner of the goal, just out of the reach of Orlando goalkeeper Erin McLeod and into the back of the net. Rookie Harding tallied her first career assist on the score.

Just a few minutes later, the Pride put together its best scoring chance of the half when Megan Montefusco headed a ball to Darian Jenkins, whose header connected directly with the left post. Two minutes later, Montefusco headed a ball on goal that was saved by Aubrey Kingsbury.

The Spirit picked up where it left off on the offensive end of the field to start the second half of play. Bayley Feist found herself on a breakaway and had a sliding shot deflected out by McLeod in the 51st minute before Sam Staab had a great header attempt go slightly wide right off the ensuing corner kick. In the 57th, Ashley Hatch made an impressive cut to the inside of the field to create an opening and took a shot that went just wide left of the net. Nine minutes later, Hatch received a great centering feed from Sanchez at the top of the box and sent a strike past the Pride keeper and into the left side of the net to double the Spirit lead, 2-0.

Washington had several more scoring chances in the final ten minutes before stoppage time and even one early on in stoppage time. In the 83rd minute, Ashley Sanchez intercepted a free kick and charged the other way with Rodman before a feed too far out in front gave the ball back to Orlando. In the 89th, Rodman took a turning shot from outside the top of the box that forced McLeod to make a save at the right side of the net. In the second minute of stoppage time, Sanchez again found herself on a breakaway but fired her shot a little early and a little high.

With only an expected four remaining minutes of stoppage time separating the Spirit from a much-needed three points, the Pride attacking third seemed to shift into another gear. In the fifth minute of stoppage time, the newly-signed Jordyn Listro cut back on her defender and sent a perfect cross into the center of the box where an approaching Mikayla Cluff buried a header into the left side of the net and cut the Spirit lead in half. Just three minutes later, Darian Jenkins somehow ended up with the ball all alone in close range and buried the crossing equalizer into the right side of the goal. After eight stoppage minutes, full time was called, completing the furious Pride rally.

Washington will head home for a rematch of last year’s championship game when the side hosts the Chicago Red Stars at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia next Wednesday night. The Spirit will play four matches over a ten-day span from June 1 to June 11, due in part to the match in Bridgeview, Illinois that was rescheduled after Washington advanced to the Challenge Cup Championship Game earlier this month.

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit

Date: May 27, 2022

Venue: Exploria Stadium

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET

Weather: partly cloudy, mid-80s

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Orlando 0 2 2
Washington 1 1 2

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 19’

WAS – Ashley Hatch – 66’

ORL – Mikayla Cluff – 90’+5’

ORL – Darian Jenkins – 90’+8’


ORL: 1- Erin McLeod; 17- Courtney Petersen (20- Julie Doyle 78’); 5- Megan Montefusco; 12- Carrie Lawrence (3- Toni Pressley 78’); 13- Celia (25- Kerry Abello 62’); 16- Mikayla Cluff; 14- Viviana Villacorta; 2- Sydney Leroux; 8- Gunny Jónsdóttir (34- Jordyn Listro 78’); 11- Darian Jenkins; 35- Leah Pruitt (19- Abi Kim 67’)

Unused Substitutes: 21- Anna Moorhouse; 22- Parker Roberts; 15- Erika Tymrak; 27- Chelsee Washington

WAS: 1- Aubrey Kingsbury; 16- Julia Roddar (30- Camryn Biegalski 46’); 3- Sam Staab; 6- Emily Sonnett; 21- Anna Heilferty (14- Morgan Goff 58’); 13- Bayley Feist (22- Amber Brooks 73’); 12- Andi Sullivan (7- Taylor Aylmer 58’); 33- Ashley Hatch (29- Maddie Elwell 85’); 10- Ashley Sanchez; 2- Trinity Rodman; 27- Audrey Harding (17- Tinaya Alexander 72’)

Unused Substitutes: 28- Nicole Barnhart; 18- Devon Kerr; 4- Karina Rodriguez

Stats Summary: ORL / WAS

Shots: 9 / 11

Shots On Goal: 3 / 3

Saves: 1 / 1

Shots Blocked: 2 / 2

Fouls: 10 / 12

Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary: 

WAS – Bayley Feist – 22’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Ashley Sanchez – 42’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Ashley Hatch – 75’ – Yellow Card

ORL – Megan Montefusco – 76’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 81’ – Yellow Card

WAS – Amber Brooks – 90’ – Yellow Card

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