ORLANDO, Fla. — Saturday, the Orlando Pride extended their unbeaten streak to seven games and won their second consecutive game when they beat NY/NJ Gotham 2-1.
The Pride traveled to Chester, Pennsylvania, for Saturday’s game, where Gotham takes up residence when their shared stadium with the New York Red Bulls is occupied by the MLS team.
Both of the Pride’s latest signings, Ally Watt and Haley Hanson, were on the bench for this weekend’s game.
The Pride seemed to be in control for much of the first half, having plenty of opportunities to get the ball on frame but failing to score. The teams went into half-time 0-0.
But in the second half, in the 49th minute, Kerry Abello sent a cross from the left side of the box towards Celia who was making a run to the back post and headed it towards the goal.
Gotham’s goalkeeper made the initial save, but a scramble in the box sent the ball back out to Celia who ping-ponged a shot of the foot of Erika Tymrak and into the goal. Pride up 1-0.
In the 64th minute, Ally Watt made her Pride debut and it took her less than 10 minutes to have an impact.
Meggie Dougherty Howard beat the Gotham defender and made sliding save on the right sideline to keep the ball in bounds and found Watt running forward towards the goal.
Watt held up her defender with some fancy footwork before getting ahead of the defender and finding the far post to score her first goal for the Pride.
Watt provided some fresh legs in the second half and speed off the ball that will have some teams thinking twice about leaving tired defenders in if Watt continues to come off the bench.
The Pride are currently sitting in the last playoff spot and face a difficult six-game stretch against teams sitting towards the top of the table or within striking distance of the last playoff spot.
The Pride will head back home Friday to face OL Reign. Game time is 7 p.m. at Exploria Stadium.
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