Orlando Pride set to make playoff debut Saturday against Portland

By Austin Lyon, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017, 3:07 PM EDT

The Orlando Pride will make history when they step on the field for Saturday’s NWSL semifinal match against the Portland Thorns.

The second year franchise had a phenomenal closing stretch of the season to earn their first ever playoff berth.

The match will kickoff at 3:30 and can be seen on Lifetime. The other semifinal pits the top seed North Carolina Courage against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday.

Orlando carries a nine match unbeaten streak into the Pacific Northwest, but they’ve never defeated the Thorns. The Pride are 0-3-1 against Portland in their four previous matches.

A victory would push Orlando into next Saturday’s NWSL championship, which will be played at Orlando City Stadium. The players would love nothing more than to compete for a title in front of their home fans.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be in control of our destiny,” forward Jazmyne Spencer said. “We’re going to give everything for 90, 120, however long it takes to get there in the end, we want to be there.”

The Pride were the highest scoring team in the league during the regular season with 45 goals from 11 different players.

Orlando’s balance was on display in the season finale against the league’s top team, the North Carolina Courage.

Kristen Edmonds, Marta and Alanna Kennedy all found the back of the net as the Pride knocked off the Courage 3-2.

Players know it will take another stellar effort to advance to the finals.

“One more game and we’re back home,” Edmonds said. “I mean, there’s not really much more motivation than we need than to have the championship in our house so we’re using that, keeping it in the back of our mind.”