North Carolina Courage Remain Unbeaten and in First Place after 4-1 Win Over Portland Thorns FC.
The North Carolina Courage (9W-0L-2D) downed Portland Thorns FC 4-1 at Providence Park, earning their fourth win in a row and eleventh game unbeaten in 2018. A Lynn Williams brace highlighted the evening, and goals from Debinha and Samantha Mewis added to the four-goal total.
The first half was filled with back and forth action as both teams saw dangerous moments. Jessica McDonald set up a strong Courage attack in the sixth minute as she beat a defender on the outside flank to play a quality ball across the face of the goal. However, none of her teammates were able to get a foot on it.
Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland made a crucial play in the 22nd minute when she barrelled through a crowd to swallow up a Tobin Heath free kick, snuffing what could have been a key Portland opportunity.
The Courage seized the moment and took the early lead in the 31st minute after midfielder Debinha earned a penalty kick, which Williams then converted.
In the second half, the Courage were relentless in their attack and found themselves up over the Thorns 4-0 in a matter of minutes. Debinha was first to open the flood gates when she found herself unmarked on the end of a Crystal Dunn cross and headed her shot past Thorns goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom, making the score 2-0 in the 58th minute.
Lynn Williams then netted her second of the night just four minutes later from the same exact spot as Debinha’s goal. The two goals were Lynn’s first since returning from a hamstring injury that kept her sidelined for two matches. All but 180 second passed before Jaelene Hinkle’s corner kick made its way to Mewis inside the box to make the score a solid 4-0.
Amid the flurry of Courage goals, the Thorns got one back as time ticked away, and in her 100th cap, Katherine Reynolds scored her first NWSL goal for the home team.
The NC Courage travel to play Houston for the second time this season on Sunday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET, which will be the team’s fourth road match in 16 days. The Courage then return home on Saturday, June 16 to host Utah Royals FC at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
POR: Britt Eckerstrom, Katherine Reynolds, Emily Menges, Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Christine Sinclair ©, Lindsey Horan, Midge Purce (Tyler Lussi, 72′), Ana Crnogotcevic (Ellie Carpenter, 45′), Tobin Heath, Ifeoma Onumonu (Andressinha, 57′)
Subs not used: Adelaide Gay, Celeste Boureille, Mallory Weber, Angela Salem
NCC: Katelyn Rowland, Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Merritt Mathias, Debinha (Meredith Speck, 58′), McCall Zerboni, Samantha Mewis, Crystal Dunn (Darian Jenkins, 90′), Lynn Williams (Kristen Hamilton, 66′), Jessica McDonald
Subs not used: Michele Dalton, Cari Roccaro, Liz Eddy, Kaleigh Kurtz
POR: Katherine Reynolds (89′)
NCC: Lynn Williams (Penalty kick, 31′), Debinha (Crystal Dunn, 58′), Lynn Williams (Samantha Mewis, 62′), Samantha Mewis (McCall Zerboni, 64′)
POR: Christine Sinclair (38′), Meghan Klingenberg (70′)
NCC: Merritt Mathias (79′), Kristen Hamilton (89′)
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