Cary, NC- The match that was scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 22, at Children’s Mercy Field was postponed due to dangerous weather in the nearby area of Kansas City. That match was rescheduled for Thursday this week and took place at WakeMed Field in North Carolina as FC Kansas City traveled to the home turf of North Carolina to battle a match out against the top team.
After the whistle blew, both teams put in the effort to gain an early goal. Kansas City’s offense put Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland to the test as they made three close shots within the first 18 minutes of play, but Rowland managed her ground and protected the goal. In the 26th minute of the match, midfielder Desiree Scott made a strong shot that gave Rowland a challenge, but nonetheless she saved the ball once again.
Minutes later, the tables turned and the Courage offense stepped up their game to gain possession of the ball and took solid shots on Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. With Barnhart’s skill and wise choices, she also didn’t allow the Courage to come through for a goal. Just before the whistle blew, the official added one minute of stoppage time but halftime concluded with a scoreless match between the teams.
Coming into the second half, the Courage seemed more confident with a renewed strategy. Forward Lynn Williams had her own attempt on goal, but was unsuccessful. Defender Jaelene Hinkle made a cross to Williams, but shot too wide from the goal. The Courage were hopeful though and kept attacking. Jessica McDonald also had a close call, but just like Williams previous shot, it was too wide from the goal.
North Carolina remained persistent even though their shots were off from the goal. In the 86th minute when Taylor Smith made a cross, it wasn’t finished by the first player who touched the ball, but when it came past Williams she finished it and scored the winning goal, which marks her fifth goal of the season. The final game result was a 1-0 victory for North Carolina in front of 1,398 fans. Rowland made her sixth shutout of the season for the Courage as they also out-shot Kansas City 28-5.
This second consecutive game-winning goal by Williams allowed the Courage to add to their first place standing with a total of 33 points. Kansas City’s winless game streak continues as this marks their ninth game with a game record of 3-8-5 and only 14 points underneath their belt.
NC-Lynn Williams 86’
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE: #9-Lynn Williams, #12-Ashley Hatch (#14-Jessica McDonald 69’), #7-McCall Zerboni, #10-Débora Christians De Oliveira (#8-Denise O’Sullivan 65’), #5-Samantha Mewis, #23-Kristen Hamilton (#3-Makenzy Doniak 81’), #15-Jaelene Hinkle, #6-Abby Erceg, #13-Abby Dahlkemper, #11-Taylor Smith, 0-Katelyn Rowland
Subs not used: #1-Sabrina D’Angelo, #4-Elizabeth Eddy, Nora Holstad, #26-Sam Witteman
FC KANSAS CITY: #14-Sydney Leroux (#25-Brittany Ratcliffe 77’), #6-Katie Bowen, #9-Lo’eau Labonta (#88-Alexa Newfield 72’), #44-Maegan Kelly (#2-Shea Groom 46’), #31-Christina Gibbons, #11-Desiree Scott, #3-Becca Morris, #10-Yael Averbuch, #4-Becky Sauerbrunn, #13-Brittany Taylor, #18-Nicole Barnhart
Subs not used: #15-Erika Tymrak, #17-Sydney Miramontez, #19-Cat Parkhill, #21-Caroline Flynn
TOTAL SHOTS: NC 28-5 KC
SHOTS ON GOAL: NC 5-2 KC
FOULS: NC 10-12 KC
OFFSIDES: NC 1-2 KC
CORNER KICKS: NC 3-2 KC
SAVES: NC 2-4 KC