Orlando Pride continued to build toward its April 15 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season opener with its fourth match of the preseason, defeating visiting Florida State University 3-0 at Sylvan Lake Park.
Pride defender and former ‘Nole Toni Pressley led the way with two assists, while Jasmyne Spencer, draft pick Danica Evans and Chioma Ubogagu all tallied in the scoring column.
“I was pleased by the performance today. [FSU] put us under a bit of pressure and gave us a slightly different challenge than the games we’ve had so far,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “I think we saw improvement today in our general match fitness. A little bit of improvement today on our ball movement, which was better than it’s been, and we put players in there for longer today than we had been. We’re starting to see players getting close to that match fitness level that we require.”
Spencer opened the scoring in the 35th minute, collecting a cross from Pressley in the box then beating the FSU goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Evans, who was drafted with the Pride’s first pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, scored just over 10 minutes later, heading in a cross from Kristen Edmonds.
Forward Chioma Ubogagu, who was acquired by the Pride in a trade with the Houston Dash during the offseason, completed the scoring with a second half goal. Pressley played a well-paced ball through the ‘Noles defense, allowing Ubogagu to run on and calmly place it around the goalkeeper.
The Pride will wrap up preseason play next week, welcoming the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team on Friday, April 1 in a closed-door match.
After starting the season in Portland on the 15th, the Pride host their first match at Orlando City Stadium at 4 p.m. on April 22. The match will be nationally broadcast on Lifetime as the NWSL Game of the Week.
Tickets for the historic opener are available at orlando-pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
ORL – Spencer (Pressley) 35’
ORL – D. Evans (Edmonds) 45+1’
ORL – Ubogagu (Pressley) 71’
Orlando: Bledsoe (Kopale 80’); Camila (Fields 63’), Alleway (Levin 73’), Kennedy (Weatherholt 63’), Pressley; Driesse (M. Evans 46’), Edmonds, Monica (O’Brien 73’); Ubogagu (Burkenroad 73’), D. Evans (Hagen 63’), Spencer (Rodrigues 73’)