Pride jump into fourth place with 5-0 win over Sky Blue FC
Alex Morgan and Marta each scored twice
After scoring twice vs. Sky Blue FC, Marta now has 11 goals, tied for second-best in the NWSL. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/
After scoring twice vs. Sky Blue FC, Marta now has 11 goals, tied for second-best in the NWSL. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/

Alex Morgan and Marta each scored twice as the Orlando Pride beat Sky Blue FC 5-0 at Orlando City Stadium in front of a crowd of 5,243 fans on a rainy night in Orlando. The kickoff was delayed for one hour and 16 minutes because of weather in the area.


The win moves the Pride into the fourth and final playoff spot with 26 points (7-6-5 record) pending the rest of the Week 16 results. The Reign are just two points behind and play Sunday night at home vs. the Courage. Sky Blue FC drop down to sixth place with 23 points.


Morgan and Marta needed just four minutes to get on the scoresheet. From midfield, Marta launched long ball right to the feet of Morgan, in between Morgan and Sky Blue FC defender Christie Pearce. Morgan collected the ball, cut back around Pearce, and hammered a left-footed shot past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to make it 1-0.

The Pride got their second goal of the game in the 43rd minute when Camila nutmegged Sarah Killion at the end line and made a run into the box. Camila then passed into the center of the area and midfielder Dani Weatherholt finished it for her first NWSL goal.

In the 45th minute, Sky Blue FC midfielder Madison Tiernan found some space and nearly cut the lead in half but her left-footed shot went just wide.


In the 47th minute, Morgan scored her second goal of the game and fifth of the season. The play started when Marta beat a double team on the left side and picked out Jasmyne Spencer in the center of the field about 25 yards from goal. Spencer took two touches and sent a through ball to Morgan in the box. As Sheridan came off her line, Morgan cut the ball to the far post to make it 3-0.

Five minutes later, Spencer was the playmaker again, sending a cross into the box. Sheridan tried to catch it, but the ball bounced out of her hands and right to the head of Marta, who was making a run to the goal line. Marta headed it into the back of the net from about two yards out for her tenth goal of the season.

The Pride’s final goal came in the 58th minute with Morgan returning the favor and assisting on a Marta score. From midfield, Morgan sent a long low through ball between two Sky Blue defenders that Marta sprinted onto the end of and then dribbled into the area. As Sheridan came off her line, Marta sent a low shot to the left corner to make it 5-0. The score was Marta’s 11th of the season, pulling her into a tie with Sam Kerr for second-place in the league behind Megan Rapinoe’s 12 goals.

Kerr was denied her 12th goal of the season in the 90th minute when her header went off the crossbar. She had scored in five straight appearances for Sky Blue, but could not extend her streak to six games as the Pride limited her to two shots on goal in the match.


The game marked the final game of her NWSL career for Pride midfielder Maddy Evans after she announced her retirement earlier this week. She entered the game in the 62nd minute. When the Pride earned a penalty kick in the 65th minute, Marta — passing up a chance for a hat trick and a tie for the league lead in goals — gave the ball to Evans to take the kick. But the perfect ending wasn’t to be as Evans’ attempt was stopped by Sheridan, who made seven saves in the match. Sheridan has made 69 saves so far this season, second-best in the league.


Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris played her first game since being injured on May 21 and made three saves to earn the shutout. She made two strong stops in the second half to keep Sky Blue FC off the scoresheet.


Both teams will next be in action on Saturday as Sky Blue hosts Seattle Reign FC and the Pride visit the Boston Breakers.

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