ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Pride secured a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit Saturday with Danica Evans' late-game goal in the first National Women's Soccer League game at Orlando City Stadium.
The team said the equalizer was Evans' first professional goal and its first goal of the season.
"We started the second half really well," head coach Tom Sermanni said. "First time they went up the field is when they scored, and then I thought it was great character from the team to keep plugging away and come back and get the point. I think overall I saw a lot of improvement from last week."
Brazilian superstar Marta made her Pride debut, coming into the match in the 59th minute, the team said.
The visiting Washington Spirit opened the scoring in the 60th minute when Line Sigvardsen-Jensen headed in an initial save from Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris following a Spirit corner kick.
The Pride said Chioma Ubogagu slipped a nice ball in the 86th minute into Evans, who made a first-touch back-heel meg to get in alone with Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.
Evans then took a touch to her right before sliding the ball into an open net, the Pride said.
"One of the reasons that we drafted her was when we looked at her, we felt that she had an ability to finish and an ability to finish in a composed way," Sermanni said. "I think that was highlighted today. For us, it's really helpful to have a player that can come in and make that impact over that short a period of time."
Defender Laura Alleway also made her season debut for Orlando.
The Pride will travel to relocated North Carolina Courage -- formerly the Western New York Flash -- on April 29 before going to FC Kansas City on May 7.