Cary, NC- The North Carolina Courage has controlled the standings, holding onto first-place in the NWSL standings for a majority of the season. In Week 9 the Boston Breakers traveled to Children’s Mercy Field in attempt to throw the Courage off of their game. The Boston Breakers were without rookie midfielder Rose Lavelle as she suffered a strained hamstring last Sunday representing the USWNT in a match against Norway. The Courage were down several players as forward Lynn Williams was injured during training with the USWNT and suffered from an ankle injury. Jessica McDonald also suffered from a strained hamstring and defender Yuri Kawamura took a blow as she is out for the season due to a torn ACL and meniscus.
Despite these player losses, the Courage came out ready to dominate and remain in first-place. They definitely gave the Breakers a challenge by scoring early on in the match. Forward Kristen Hamilton received a solid pass from Sam Mewis and scored at the right side of the net in the third minute to give North Carolina 1-0 lead.
Hamilton could not be stopped as just 10 minutes later, Abby Dahlkemper took the corner kick and Abby Erceg headed the ball that was then crossed by Ashley Hatch and nicely finished off by Hamilton. This was Hamilton’s second goal within the first half and put her on track to score a hat trick.
Hatch took a shot from outside of the box, which went past goalkeeper Abby Smith and a defender who was by the net, leading the Courage to a 3-0 score.
The Breakers pressed on and continued to fight hard, but the Courage came out ready and brought intensity to the match with early goals. In the 74th minute, Boston saw its first and only goal of the match from Adriana Leon.
Although Smith allowed three goals to get by she did have five saves for the night. The Courage still remain in first-place with a total of 21 points and the Breakers fall to ninth place with eight points. The Courage took the 3-1 win in front of 3,780 spectators. These two teams will meet again next weekend as he Breakers hope for a better outcome to advance in standings.
NC-Kristen Hamilton 3’
NC-Kristen Hamilton 13’
NC-Ashley Hatch 38’
BOS-Adriana Leon 73’
NC-Rosie White, yellow card 80’
NC COURAGE: #23-Kristen Hamilton (#22-Stephanie Ochs 87’), #12-Ashley Hatch, #3-Makenzy Doniak (#26-Sam Witteman 69’), #7-McCall Zerboni, #5-Samantha Mewis, #10-Debinha De Oliveria (#25-Meredith Speck 81’), #15-Jalene Hinkle, #6-Abby Erceg, #13-Abby Dahlkemper, #11-Taylor Smith, 0-Katelyn Rowland
Subs not used: #1-Sabrina D’Angelo, #4-Elizabeth Eddy, #9-Lynn Williams, #14-Jessica McDonald
BOSTON BREAKERS: #7-Emilie Haavi (#21-Margaret Pruce 57’), #9-Natasha Dowie, #9-Adriana Leon (#22-Ifeoma Onumonu 82’), #26-Angela Salem (#5-Amanda Dacosta 68’), #25-Morgan Andrews, #10-Rosie White, #8-Julie King, #4-Megan Oyster, #20-Christen Westphal, #3-Brooke Elby, #14-Abby Smith
Subs not used: #15-Sammy jo Prudhomme, #30-Kylie Strom, #17-Amanda Frisbie, #18-Tiffany Weimer
TOTAL SHOTS: NC 17-9 BOS
SHOTS ON GOAL: NC 8-2 BOS
FOULS: NC 11-13 BOS
OFFSIDES: NC 0-2 BOS
CORNER KICKS: NC 5-4 BOS
SAVES: NC 1-5 BOS