Match Report: NC Courage remains perfect in 2017 NWSL Season with 3-1 home win over Orlando Pride
The North Carolina Courage (3W-0L-0T; 9 pts) remain atop of the NWSL leaderboard after a 3-1 win against the Orlando Pride (0W-2L-1T; 1 pt) on Saturday afternoon at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Jessica McDonald, Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams provided goals in the stunning effort.
The Courage didn’t waste any time, opening scoring in the 6th minute as Jessica McDonald found a rebound shot off a Lynn Williams header. McDonald deftly slipped the ball past the outstretched foot of Orlando goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris.
Williams had another good look in the 12th minute, as the forward fired a shot from close range, after she found a headed pass from Yuri Kawamura.
North Carolina nearly added on in the 21st minute as last week’s Courage goal scorer, Debinha, almost doubled the lead, forcing Harris to make a leaping save.
The Pride next equalized in the 27th minute as Camila Pereira fired an arching shot that was just out of Sabrina D’Angelo’s reach.
The NC Courage responded quickly and were back on top in the 33rd minute as they were awarded a penalty kick after a Laura Alleway handball. Sam Mewis stepped up to the task, coolly firing the shot past a diving Harris.
The Courage edged out the Pride in shots in the first half, with nine, compared to the Pride’s seven, while taking a 2-1 lead into the second half.
Upon return from halftime, the Courage were pressing yet again, as Williams had a breakaway towards a charging Harris, who blocked the 2016 NWSL Golden Boot winner’s shot with a kick save in the 48th minute. Harris made back-to-back saves as Debinha had a chance of her own just seconds later, with a header attempt.
The Courage kept firing away. Debinha created trouble for Orlando again and again, this time with a powerful shot that bounded off the crossbar in the 56th minute.
Debinha and Williams were finally rewarded for their persistence, with the Brazilian midfielder picking up an assist on a Williams goal in the 70th minute. The shot bounced off the post to slip behind Harris into the bottom left corner.
Overall, the Courage outshot the Pride 23-7 and picked up another three points at home to remain perfect in the 2017 NWSL season.
Coming Up Next: The Courage will be back in action on Sunday, May 7 with an away match at Jordan Field against the Boston Breakers at 6 p.m. They will remain on the road for a Sunday, May 14 match against the Orlando Pride at Orlando City Stadium. Their next action at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park will be on Sunday, May 21 for a 4:00 match against the Chicago Red Stars. For tickets and more information, please visit NCFCTix.com.
NC Courage Line-up:
Sabrina D’Angelo, Abby Erceg, Abby Dahlkemper, Yuri Kawamura, Samantha Mewis, Jaelene Hinkle (Samantha Witteman, 77′), McCall Zerboni, Debinha, Makenzy Doniak (Taylor Smith, 77′), Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald (Ashley Hatch, 83′)
Subs: Katelyn Rowland, Courtney Niemiec, Kristen Hamilton, Meredith Speck
Orlando Pride Line-up:
Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Laura Alleway, Monica Hickman Alves (Dani Weatherholt (69′), Kristen Edmonds, Camila Martins Pereira, Marta Vieira da Silva, Jasmyne Spencer (Danica Evans, 69′), Chioma Ubogagu (Nickolette Driesse, 82′)
Subs not used: Aubrey Bledsoe, Maddy Evans, Toni Pressley, Jamia Fields,
NC: — McDonald 6′ (unassisted), Mewis 33′ (PK), Williams (Debinha, 70′)
ORL: — Camila Martins Pereira (Kennedy, 27′)
NC: — Mewis 18′, Zerboni 81′, Witteman 84′
ORL: — Alleway 33′
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