Orlando Pride continued to roll on Saturday night, downing the Boston Breakers 4-2 in a rain-soaked match at Orlando City Stadium. The victory pushed the Pride’s current win streak to five consecutive games, with the team unbeaten over its last six matches.
The victory also ensured the Pride remain in playoff position through Week 19, regardless of results in the remaining matches this weekend. The Pride currently sit in third place, three points ahead of the Chicago Red Stars who face top-seeded North Carolina Courage on Sunday evening.
"I thought the first 30 minutes we were superb. I thought that's probably the best 30 minutes that we've had this season. We were slick, movement was great, we were creating chances. We really dominated the game,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “But we need to be probably a little bit better when we’re not going through those spells and we’re playing really well. I think we were playing really well. We played some fantastic football."
The Pride entered the halftime break with a two-goal lead thanks to a first-half brace from rookie Rachel Hill. Hill got on the board eight minutes in, capitalizing on a rebound from an Alex Morgan shot. Chioma Ubogagu played a hard cross in that Morgan powered on net, but was denied by Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith. Hill, however, jumped on the rebound for her second goal of the season.
The UConn product doubled the lead in the 15th minute, getting on the end of a Steph Catley cross and sending the ball under a shifting Smith.
The Breakers got one back four minutes into the second half, with Amanda Frisbie finding midfielder Rosie White in the box to make it 2-1.
However, the one-goal deficit didn’t last long. Brazilian forward Marta gave the Pride some insurance in the 67th minute, finishing off a crisp combination play from Morgan and Ubogagu. After Morgan played a quick pass to Ubogagu on the left side, the forward found Marta open with a pinpoint pass and she wasted no time, slotting it past Smith with her left foot. It was Marta’s first goal since Aug. 12, when she helped lead the Pride to a 5-0 win over Sky Blue FC.
Ubogagu capped the Pride’s night off with the team’s fourth goal, and her fourth of the season, with a perfectly placed left-footed shot in the 77th minute. Ubogagu created her own fortune, intercepting an outlet pass from Allysha Chapman and driving down the field before turning her defender around for the shooting lane. Ubogagu nailed the shot off of the inside of the far post, breaking across the goal line on the redirection.
The Breakers scored their final goal late in the match, with Julie King heading in Adriana Leon’s corner kick in the 88th minute.
With Marta’s goal and Morgan’s assist, the duo has played a role in 12 of the Pride’s last 15 goals. With four goals on the night, Orlando also increased its season scoring total to a league-leading 41, more than double the team’s 20 goals during its inaugural 2016 campaign.
The Pride play their final two home matches of the regular season in their next two games, first welcoming Seattle Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 9. Orlando closes out the home schedule on Sept. 23, hosting Portland Thorns FC at 3:30 p.m. ET in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.
Tickets for both matches are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Boston Breakers
Date: Sept. 2, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Goals 1 2 F
Orlando (10-6-5) 2 2 4
Boston (3-11-7) 0 2 2
ORL - Rachel Hill 8’
ORL - Rachel Hill (Alex Morgan) 16’
BOS - Rosie White (Amanda Frisbie) 49’
ORL - Marta (Chioma Ubogagu) 67’
ORL - Chioma Ubogagu 77’
BOS - Julie King (Adriana Leon) 88’
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Camila, Monica, Ali Krieger, Steph Catley; Dani Weatherholt (Nickolette Driesse 86’), Alanna Kennedy; Rachel Hill, Marta (Jamia Fields 82’), Chioma Ubogagu (Danica Evans 84’); Alex Morgan
Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Toni Pressley; Jo Blankenship
Boston Breakers: Abby Smith; Margaret Purce, Megan Oyster, Julie King ©, Allysha Chapman, Brooke Elby (Rose Lavelle 72’), Amanda Frisbie (Ifeoma Onumonu 55’); Angela Salem, Rosie White; Adriana Leon, Katie Stengel (Natasha Dowie 55’)
Substitutes Not Used: Sammi Jo Prudhomme; Tiffany Weimer; Hayley Dowd
Stats Summary: ORL / BOS
Possession: 53.8% / 46.2%
Shots: 12 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 6
Offside: 5 / 4
BOS - Brooke Elby (Yellow Card) 63’
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Assistant Referee 1: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Skinker
Fourth Official: Janessa Gunn