NWSL roundup: Barbra Banda carries Pride past Courage


Barbra Banda scored two goals and helped create two others as the Orlando Pride turned a productive first half into a 4-1 victory over the visiting North Carolina Courage on Wednesday. Banda, Ally Watt and Julie Doyle all scored goals in the first half as the Pride (4-0-3, 15 points) remained one of three unbeaten teams in the NWSL. Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse was not credited with a save for the Pride. The Courage (4-3-0, 12 points) received an own goal off a deflection from Haley Hopkins’ centering pass, while Casey Murphy made five saves. Banda took the ball from midfield and found Watt for a goal in the 19th minute, then scored in the 40th minute off a feed from Watt. Banda’s shot in the second minute of first-half stoppage time was saved by Murphy, with Doyle scoring off the rebound for a 3-0 lead. Hopkins’ centering pass in the 52nd minute deflected off Pride defender Emily Sams and into the goal to cut the Courage deficit to 3-1. Banda scored her second of the game in the 77th minute on a left-footed shot from the center of the penalty area. Banda, who has three goals and two assists in three games for Orlando, departed in the 82nd minute after taking a blow to her right knee. Spirit 4, Red Stars 2

Trinity Rodman and Ouleymata Sarr scored goals two minutes apart in the first half and visiting Washington earned a victory over Chicago in Bridgeview, Ill.

Brittney Ratcliffe added two late goals, Croix Bethune had three assists and Aubrey Kingsbury made one save for the Spirit (5-2-0, 15 points), who have scored multiple goals in six consecutive matches.

Allison Schlegel and Leilanni Nesbeth scored goals for the Red Stars (3-3-1, 10 points), and Alyssa Naeher made one save.

Rodman scored in the 28th minute off a feed from Bethune, her first of the season. In the 30th minute, Rodman added an assist on a feed to Sarr, who scored with her right foot.

Schlegel scored in the 79th minute, her third of the season, to bring Chicago within a goal, but Ratcliffe scored in the 83rd and 86th minutes on feeds from Bethune. Sarr, Bethune and Ratcliffe are tied for the team lead with three goals each.

Nesbeth scored her first career NWSL goal for Chicago in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.