Marta keeps Orlando in the playoff hunt, taking all three points from Washington (2024)

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Marta of the Orlando Pride (photo by Mercedes Cabrera).

By Jackie Gutierrez onLatest, NWSL, Orlando Pride, Washington Spirit, Women's Soccer

Marta keeps Orlando in the playoff hunt, taking all three points from Washington (2)

Marta of the Orlando Pride (photo by Mercedes Cabrera).

Orlando, F.L- Due to weather conditions, the kickoff was slightly altered for the Pride, who brought plenty of challenges for the Washington Spirit. In order to maintain a high standing for playoffs, the Pride had to earn three points.

Orlando didn’t hesitate to bring the heat as they had an early opportunity on goal. In the sixth minute, forward Sydney Leroux had a nice give-and-go to defender Ali Krieger, who made her way past the Spirit back-line and crossed the ball to Marta. Despite having one defender and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe keeping her from the goal, she took a strong shot that put Bledsoe on her toes, but was deflected.

Two minutes later, Marta was given the ball from a cross, but wasn’t able to bring a solid finish for the Pride. It would be Washington that would strike first when defender Whitney Church took a corner for Washington in the 25th minute and sent the ball in the middle of the box where Ashley Hatch finished the play with a header to the back of the left corner to stand 1-0 against Orlando. Hatch’s goal marked an ending to the scoreless 450-minute streak for the Spirit.

After the Spirit’s goal, the Pride already had another play prepared. Marta passed the ball back to striker Chioma Ubogagu, but her shot was deflected by Bledsoe again and went past the crossbar.

With two minutes of stoppage time added, the Pride put out everything they had to equalize. It paid off just before the end of the first half when Alanna Kennedy passed to Leroux, who cut the ball past Spirit defender Whitney Church and into the back of the net.

Now tied 1-1, the Spirit had to do more as the Pride continued putting the ball towards the goal. Carson Pickett dribbled the ball down the left side of the field and her left footed shot had Bledsoe working diligent to make the save.

Marta almost delivered again in the 59th minute, but Bledsoe was quickly on it. In total she made 10 saves for the night. The tables turned for Orlando when Banini was in the box, her shot alerted Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris as it hit the post. Meggie Howard tried to get the rebound, but the ball was eventually cleared by Krieger.

The Pride came back and attacked twice, but after her 11 attempts, Marta brought it home. In the 86th minute, Leroux passed to Marta and she cut the ball from the Spirit’s defense to have her shot hit the crossbar and bounce to the back of the net. This marked Marta’s third goal of the season. She scored 13 goals last season when she first joined.

After the match Marta, told Dalen Cuff on ESPNews:

“I told you before the game we need to take opportunities and score goals. I feel like today, I have more space, [can]create opportunities.”

The Pride will travel to Houston for Wednesday night’s match against the Dash at 8:30 p.m. ET.


WAS-Ashley Hatch (Assisted by Whitney Church), 26’

ORL-Sydney Leroux (Assisted by Sydney Leroux), 45 + 2’

ORL-Marta Vieria Da Silva (Assisted by Sydney Leroux), 86’


ORL-Marta Vieria Da Silva, yellow card, 90 + 3’

ORLANDO PRIDE: #24-Ashlyn Harris, #16-Carson Pickett, #4-Shelina Zadorsky, #21-Monica Hickmann Alves, #11-Ali Krieger, #7-Christine Nairn (#17-Dani Weatherholt, 66’), #14-Alanna Kennedy, #5-Emily Van Egmond (#9-Camila Martins Pereira, 65’), #6-Chioma Ubogagu (#15-Rachel Hill, 72’), #10-Marta Vieria Da Silva, #2-Sydney Leroux

Subs not used: #19-Poliana Barbosa, #12-Kristen Edmonds, #28-Haley Kopmeyer, #3-Toni Pressley

WASHINGTON SPIRIT: #1-Aubrey Bledsoe, #3-Caprice Dydasco, #24-Estelle Johnson, #5-Whitney Church, #7-Taylor Smith, #10-Estefanía Romina Banini (#16-Rose Lavelle, 75’), #4-Rebecca Quinn, #6-Andi Sullivan (#9-Havanna Solaun, 66’), #14-Francisca Ordega (#8-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 10’), #33-Ashley Hatch, #23-Tori Huster

Subs not used: #22-Mallory Eubanks, #21-Didi Haracic, #15-Joanna Lohman, #19-Kelsey Wys







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Marta keeps Orlando in the playoff hunt, taking all three points from Washington (2024)


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