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Orlando Pride signs UCF alumna Carrie Lawrence, waives Danica Evans

Evans will leave the NWSL to pursue an opportunity to play for a club in Europe.

The Orlando Pride signed defender Carrie Lawrence as a supplemental player for the 2020 NWSL season. The Orlando native and UCF alumnus was unable to sign with the Pride in 2019 after she did not declare for the draft, but she trained with the club throughout the 2019 season.

The 22-year-old graduated from UCF in 2019 as a three-year letterwinner after transferring from the University of South Carolina. She netted four goals and added 11 assists during her three seasons with the Knights and scored two goals with an assist over 20 appearances for South Carolina.

Lawrence will join a backline stocked with national team talent, as the Pride added U.S. national team player Emily Sonnett to a defensive unit already headed by Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Shelina Zadorsky. With four of the five defensive players prepared to suit up for the Olympics this summer, Lawrence will be tasked with filling in the gaps during their absence along with league veteran Toni Pressley.

“We are thrilled to have Carrie join our roster as she is someone we would have liked to sign last year but were unable to,” Pride general manager Erik Ustruck said. “She trained hard with us every day and was a clear representative of the culture we are building at the club. We are very happy to reward her with this contract and excited about the depth she brings to our back line.”

The Orlando Pride also waived forward Danica Evans on Friday, parting with the player after three seasons in Orlando. Evans will leave the NWSL to pursue options to play in Europe.

The forward was drafted as the Pride’s first pick (No. 22 overall) in 2017. She scored the first goal in Exploria Stadium — then called   Orlando City Stadium — and finished her career with two goals and one assist. 

“On behalf of the entire organization, I’d like to thank Danica for her three years with the Club. We wish her the best of luck in the next chapter of her career,” Ustruck said. 

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