Match report: NC Courage became first team to beat Seattle Reign at home this season
The first-place North Carolina Courage returns from its two-game road trip with all six points after a Sam Mewis brace in Seattle on Saturday night led to the team’s third straight win.
With the 2-1 victory, NC Courage becomes the first visiting team to win at Memorial Stadium, snapping the Reign’s 15-game unbeaten streak at home which dates back to 2016.
The Courage settled into its usual high-powered offense early as lethal plays developed from the visiting team’s backline up to its attacking third. Abby Erceg served a beautiful ball up to Lynn Williams in the 6th minute of play. Williams was able to get on the end of the service, but her touch rocketed high.
Just four minutes later, Mewis played a clinical through-ball into Williams. While the play did not result in a chance on goal, it set the tone for Mewis’ offensive mindset for the night.
The NC Courage found the net first after defender Jaelene Hinkle sparked an attack from the backline. She located Jess McDonald down the flank, allowing McDonald to have a clear cross to Williams’ feet. The forward then one touched the ball to Mewis who fired a volley past goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer to put the NC Courage up by one in the 24th minute.
Seattle didn’t waste time countering the Courage’s early push when Rumi Utsugi capitalized on a Lindsay Elston cross in the 40th minute. The first half ended with an even 1-1 score.
The teams saw a slower start to the second half as it wasn’t until the 66th minute that either team saw an opportunity on goal. NC Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland made a series of important saves to deny Seattle from taking the lead.
The Courage eventually broke the deadlock when Mewis set herself up for her second goal of the night in the 74th minute. A throw-in from Ashley Hatch found Mewis’ head. The center midfielder then flicked the ball on to a Seattle defender, whose poor clearance was put away by Mewis herself.
Mewis’ brace proved to be enough for the Courage, as they locked in three more points in Week 16. The team returns home to host Mallory Pugh and the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week on Saturday, Aug. 19 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Video: Match highlights
— NWSL (@NWSL) August 14, 2017
SEA: Haley Kopmeyer; Merritt Mathias, Kristen McNabb (Christine Nairn, 83′), Lauren Barnes ©, Rachel Corsie; Rebekah Stott, Rumi Utsugi, Lindsay Elston (Larissa Crummer, 76′); Mahomi Kawasumi, Beverly Yanez, Katie Johnson (Kiersten Dallstream, 61′)
Subs not used: Madalyn Schiffel, Carson Pickett, Madeline Bauer, Elli Reed
NCC: Katelyn Rowland; Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Taylor Smith; Kristen Hamilton (Debinha, 87′); Sam Mewis, Mccall Zerboni, Samantha Mewis, Ashley Hatch; Jessica McDonald (Makenzy Doniak, 67′), Lynn Williams
Subs not used: Sabrina D’Angelo, Denise O’Sullivan, Stephanie Ochs, Nora Holstad, Sam Witteman
SEA: Rumi Utsugi (Lindsay Elston, 40′)
NCC: Sam Mewis (Lynn Williams, 24′, Unassisted, 74′)
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