Pride beat Courage, move one point out of playoff position
Adriana had a goal and assist as the Orlando Pride held on for a 2-1 win against the North Carolina Courage on Sunday in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Ally Watt scored the fastest goal in Pride history to start things off at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. In the first minute, Adriana passed behind North Carolina’s defense, and Watt beat her defender to get to the ball first. While goalkeeper Casey Murphy partially blocked Watt's shot, it had enough momentum to roll into the goal.
Adriana doubled the lead in the 33rd on the first play after a hydration break. Julie Doyle slipped a pass behind North Carolina’s defense, and the Brazilian calmly finished into the right corner on the breakaway.
Manaka Matsukubo, coming off an MVP performance in the NWSL Challenge Cup Final a week ago, got one back for the Courage in the 52nd minute. Emily Fox cut the ball back from the left, and Haley Hopkins let the ball roll under her feet to Matsukubo, who ran onto the ball and shot into the right corner with her first touch.
The Courage went down to 10 players when Adriana was tripped after beating defender Malia Berkely, who received a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity as the last defender.
After the win, Orlando (8-10-1) now sits just one point out of sixth place, the final playoff spot, with three matches remaining. The Courage (8-7-4) moved to fourth place to close out the weekend.
RED STARS 2, ANGEL CITY 2
The Chicago Red Stars came from behind twice to earn a draw against Angel City at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois.
Laura Ricketts was on hand to watch Ava Cook and Cheyna Matthews score the equalizers in Chicago’s first home match since Ricketts led a group that took over ownership of the club on Sept. 1.
Ali Riley got things started for Angel City in the 39th minute. Amandine Henry got her head on a corner kick, and while her shot was saved by Alyssa Naeher, Riley was there to pounce on the rebound.
Chicago had much of the momentum before Riley's goal, and in the 22nd minute, Ella Stevens redirected Bianca St-Georges' cross with her head, but DiDi Haracic pushed it out for a corner. St-Georges got into space again in the 64th minute, but Haracic made a diving save on her shot.
The next three goals all came from substitutes.
Cook equalized with her first touch in the 68th, winning a loose ball and driving into the center of the box before sliding her shot into the right corner.
Jun Endo answered quickly on the next play, connecting with Claire Emslie's cross from close range to put Angel City up again.
Matthews equalized for Chicago just four minutes later, using her body to win the ball off an Angel City defender at the top of the box before finishing into the lower left corner.
Madison Hammond had a chance to put Angel City (6-6-7) ahead with just a minute remaining, as Alyssa Thompson cut a ball back to her in front of the goal, but her shot went right to Naeher, who finished with seven saves.
The draw kept Angel City's unbeaten streak alive. The team hasn't lost a match in eight straight league games and now sits one point out of sixth place.
Chicago (6-10-3) has only lost once in its last six regular-season games.
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