Jasmyne Spencer provides Pride with spark

At 5-foot-1, Jasmyne Spencer is the smallest player on the Orlando Pride roster, and, at times, the smallest player on the pitch. But her play in the first two matches of the expansion team’s inaugural season in the NWSL has been huge.

“I think somebody puts a couple of batteries in her rib cage before she goes out, and she just keeps on running and running and running,” Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said. “She’s one of those players that just impacts games with her pace, with her tenacity, with her energy, and she’s a nightmare to mark because you just don’t know what she’s doing.”

In Orlando’s 3-1 home-opening victory over the Houston Dash, Spencer contributed on several significant plays, including two of the Pride’s goals.

Around the 46th minute, Spencer had the ball headed to her by Pride forward Alex Morgan. The cutting Spencer unloaded a shot that bounced back at her. She then back-heeled the ball to an open Morgan who fired a shot toward the Dash’s Andressa Machary that was deflected in for an own goal.

“Jasmyne is a pacy player and … I think she scares defenders,” Morgan said. “She puts them on their heels.”

Morgan’s first goal for the Pride began with Spencer. In the 61st minute, Spencer found herself on the left side of Houston’s box. She then placed a no-look through ball in front of left back Steph Catley, who fired the ball in to Morgan for the first-touch goal.

“I’ve always played against her, so I guess I’ve had a bit of experience in what she likes from defending her,” Catley said. “Yeah, she’s an amazing player to play with. She’s so fast and she’s a really smart player and can sort of turn and dribble at any point.”

Despite her height, Spencer still knows how to put on a show.

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