BOYDS — For the Washington Spirit (2-8-4), winless in the last 5 matches, it was another swing and a miss, this time against the Orlando Pride (6-3-4), who defeated the Spirit 1-0.
Early in the match, the 11th minute, the Pride shocked the Spirit, everyone in the stadium, and those watching on TV, with a half-pitch-long shot that sailed untouched into the back of the net. Pride defender Alanna Kennedy was the one with the heavy boot to score the goal. Kennedy took advantage of the entire Spirit defense crowding the midfield line with keeper Bledsoe high out of her box. Bledsoe made a superhuman attempt to stop the shot but it was an inch or so too high for her. For the Pride, the goal marked why soccer is called the beautiful game.
That surprise long-distance goal would be the only goal of the match, enough to bring the Pride three additional points in the standings and rob the Spirit of any additional points. The Pride now stand at second place in the National Women’s Soccer League point rankings. They are climbing the ladder with their sixth straight win on the road.
The Pride came to the pitch with a fully-loaded starting lineup and the bench strength to back it up, but not the Spirit.