Cary,N.C- Tonight the North Carolina resumed play for Week 15 of the season as they welcomed Seattle Reign to WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage were last on the pitch at Providence Park when they faced the Portland Thorns and took a 1-0 loss while on the road. The last time these two teams met in North Carolina was on July 8th, where the Courage continued to extend their first place standing as they celebrated a 2-0 victory against the Reign.
Both teams came out ready to dominate, which made for a clash as each team worked relentlessly to keep a strong back-line from any opportunities of a goal early on. While the Reign managed a decent amount of possession of the ball in the first half, the Courage came out and forward Makenzy Doniak made a long pass to Lynn Williams, who was inside of the box at just the right time to finish the cross and conquer the touch with a goal to give the Courage a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute. The official added one minute of stoppage time when Reign forward Nahomi Kawasumi took a corner, which looked hopeful as it made its way over the heads of the players, but was ruled out when the whistle blew to conclude the first half.
As both teams had a chance to re cooperate at halftime, Seattle searched high and low for an opportunity to score the equalizer to take the lead, but wasn’t successful. They had progressive opportunities, but none that had the potential for a goal. The Courage worked confidently to not get too ahead of themselves as they remained in the lead. In the 63rd minute, the Reign gave the Courage a challenge as Kawasumi had crossed to the center, but then missed. Forward Beverly Yanez got a shot on this ball as well, but was ricocheted by her fellow Reign player, which caused Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland to make a save for North Carolina to maintain their win.
The Courage continued at attack and the Reign’s defense pulled together as the second half came to a simmer. With two minutes of stoppage time added, the Courage took the 1-0 victory. “I am really happy with the result,” said head coach Paul Riley. “You have to win your home games in this league if you’re going to do damage in the league, and we won our home game, so I’m happy with the group. We didn’t give [Seattle] a lot of chances to be honest with you. All in all, with those players coming back from the west coast, I think it was a really good performance. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit, all four of them, for coming back and performing like they did.”
The North Carolina Courage remains in first place with 30 points as Seattle Reign stands with 24 points in fourth place. The two teams will meet again at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, Washington on August 13th at 9:00 p.m ET.
NC-Lynn Williams 32’
SEA-Rebekah Stott 24’
SEA-Lauren Barnes 86’
NC COURAGE: #9-Lynn Williams, #23-Kristen Hamilton (#26-Sam Witteman 92’), #12-Ashley Hatch (10-Debinha De Oliveria 87’), #7-McCall Zerboni, #5-Samantha Mewis, #3-Makenzy Doniak (#14-Jessica McDonald 62’), #15-Jalene Hinkle, #6-Abby Erceg, #13-Abby Dahlkemper, #11-Taylor Smith, 0-Katelyn Rowland
Subs not used: #1-Sabrina D’Angelo, #8-Denise O’Sullivan, #22-Stephanie Ochs, #25-Meredith Speck
SEATTLE REIGN: #2-Christine Nairn (#19-Kristen McNabb 79’), #3-Lauren Barnes, #4-Rachel Corsie, #5-Kiersten Dallstream (#33-Katlyn Johnson 63’), #6-Lindsay Elston, #9-Merritt Mathias (#7-Elli Reed 79’), #10-Jessica Fishlock, #13-Rebekah Stott, #17-Beverly Yanez, #28-Haley Kopmeyer, #36-Nahomi Kawasumi
Subs not used: #26-Maudie Bauer, #18-Larissa Crummer, #16-Carson Pickett, #24-Madalyn Schiffel
TOTAL SHOTS: NC 3-0 SEA
SHOTS ON GOAL: NC 2-0 SEA
FOULS: NC 3-1 SEA
OFFSIDES: NC 0-0 SEA
CORNER KICKS: NC 3-0 SEA
SAVES: NC 0-2 SEA
North Carolina Courage