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The Orlando Pride had an amazing home debut for the fans here in Orlando with an impressive 3-1 defeat over the Houston Dash on Saturday night. The Pride not only earned their first win of the season, but also earned their first ever win as a NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) team and were able to do so in front of a NWSL record breaking attendance of 23,403.
“To get our first win in front of this home crowd, I couldn’t ask for more” forward Alex Morgan said following the game. Morgan recorded her first goal of the season in the 61st minute off a Stephanie Catley assist. Morgan played all 90 minutes, creating great shooting opportunities for herself and also for her teammates, as the Pride captain was named Player of the Match.
The Pride had a steady first half but were unable to create any scoring chances, as they were not pushing the ball to the opposition a lot and found themselves passing the ball back and forth in the back field too much.
The second half was when things really stared to take off for the pride and windows were starting to be opened. Pride manager Tom Sermanni had this to say about their success in the second half,
“We made a tactics change, which I think made a big difference.”
Already up 1-0 after an own goal by the Dash’s Andressa, Lianne Sanderson found the back of the net in the 57th minute with a free kick to put the Pride up 2-0.
The Pride scored all three of their goals in the second half as they subbed to play with an extra forward rather than their original three set.
On the Houston side, things never really got in to rhythm for them. An early exit of their star player, Carli Lloyd, presented challenges for the Dash in the mid field. Lloyd suffered an injury in the early minutes of the match, and although she did not want to give in to the getting subbed out so early in the game, she was just unable to play any longer and was subbed at minute 13.
The Pride showed their fans everything they wanted to see in the electric home debut, and now hope to continue to succeed as the season continues. The Orlando Pride’s next match will be May 1st at the Chicago Red Stars.