NC Courage Defeat Utah Royals FC Behind Goals from Hamilton and McDonald
The North Carolina Courage (7W-3L-4D) defeated Utah Royals FC, 2-1, for the first time in club history behind goals from Kristen Hamilton and Jessica McDonald.
The NC Courage bounced back after going down early in the game to earn an important three points.
In the 13th minute, Christen Press found an opening and took advantage of the space. The Utah Royals FC forward sent a shot in that found the corner of the net to put Utah up early.
Kristen Hamilton tied it up in the 35th minute with an impressive strike. Sam Mewis played a high ball into Hamilton who shouldered it down to her foot and blasted the ball past Utah Royals FC goalkeeper, Nicole Barnhart.
The goal was Hamilton’s eighth of the season as she sits in second place in goals in the NWSL this season. Mewis’ assist on the goal was her first in 2019. The two teams entered halftime tied 1-1.
Ten minutes into the second half, Hamilton spun a defender and ran into open space with the ball. Two Utah defenders ran to cover Hamilton leaving McDonald wide open. Hamilton threaded a ball through the defenders to McDonald who sent the second goal of the night past Barnhart.
Several saves by Courage goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé in the closing minutes secured the win. Labbé made six saves on the night.
Up Next: The Courage return home to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m. to face the Washington Spirit.