NWSL Game of the Week: Washington Spirit vs Orlando Pride

Orland Pride celebrate scoring a goal vs Angel City
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: Mikayla Cluff #16, Megan Montefusco #5 and Courtney Petersen #17 of the Orlando Pride celebrate after their 1-0 win against Angel City FC at Banc of California Stadium on May 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

For the third time this year, Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride took to the field with a bit of a surprising outcome. The teams tied 2-2 with both goals from the Pride coming in stoppage time. Last time out, the Spirit won easily, 4-1.

The Spirit have been faced with a tough schedule, playing at least twice a week, which is more than any other team in the league. The Pride has been unpredictable this season with sparks of brilliance but also some poor performances.

Both teams came out with few changes in their lineups. Spirit’s Kelley O’Hara was a big miss for the side as she was out with a hamstring injury. Mikayla Cluff started for the Pride and was a key piece to the game.

Highlights: Washington Spirit vs Orlando Pride

From the start, the Spirit looked like they were about to pick up an easy three points against Orlando. The end proved to be a different story.

In the 19th minute, Trinity Rodman scored the first goal of the game. She rocketed the ball in the corner from outside the box. The ball was placed perfectly that Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod had no chance to save it.

The Spirit struck again in the 66th minute. Ashley Sanchez fed a perfect ball through to Ashley Hatch who took the first-time shot to put it past McLeod.

The rest of regular time saw the Spirit in front with a clear chance to win the game. It all ended when Orlando got a goal five minutes into stoppage time.

In the 95th minute, Cluff headed the ball strongly past Aubrey Kingsbury, after the cross was sent in by Jordyn Listro. This was Cluff’s second professional goal of the season.

As if the game could not get any worse for the Spirit, the Pride equalized three minutes later. In the 98th minute, Darian Jenkins slotted the ball into the far corner to make the game tied, 2-2.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw with a very late rally by the Pride and sloppy defending by the reigning champs.

Player of the Match: Mikayla Cluff

The Player of the Match would have to go to Mikayla Cluff.

Cluff is a rookie out of BYU and has already made an impact on the pitch. She played an overall strong game that lead her team to the tie. Her late goal in this game proved to bring energy to the home side to produce he late goals.

What’s Next?

The Orlando Pride plays the Houston Dash on June 3 and the Washington Spirit plays NJ/NY Gotham FC on June 4th.

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