North Carolina remains undefeated after draw with Chicago Red Stars

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CARY, NC - APRIL 08: Courage head coach Paul Riley (ENG). The NWSL's North Carolina Courage played a preseason game against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels on April 8, 2017, at WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3 in Cary, NC. The Courage won the match 1-0. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CARY, NORTH CAROLINA (May 6, 2018) – McCall Zerboni has saved the day once again for the North Carolina Courage.

Carrying over her success from last season, Zerboni kept the North Carolina Courage’s unbeaten streak alive. The Chicago Red Stars made their way to WakeMed Soccer Park Sunday and drew with the Courage, 1-1. Samantha Kerr scored her first goal of the season in the 37th minute.

North Carolina remains undefeated after draw with Chicago Red Stars

However, Zerboni prevented three points for Chicago with a late, 82nd-minute goal. The goal was assisted by defender Abby Erceg. It was Zerboni’s third of the season.

Kerr had another opportunity to take the lead in the 86th minute. However, Sabrina D’Angelo, in goal for the Courage, made a full-body save against Kerr.

After the match, Courage Head Coach Paul Riley said he was “happy with the group.”

“I thought we played really well today and just have to build from that,” Riley said. “We need to start taking advantage of these chances we’re creating. In all fairness, we have the players in front of goal. All week, they’ll get back in front of goal starting Tuesday — Lynn [Williams], Jess [McDonald], Crystal [Dunn], Hammy [Kristen Hamilton], Debinha and we’ll get back at it.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Mewis and Debinha get starts: Since her return from injury, Riley has been safe with Samantha Mewis. However, her first start was long-awaited and Mewis held down the midfield. Despite the first start, the problem ensues on what will happen with Kristen Hamilton. Which brings us to…
  2. What’s the fate of Kristen Hamilton? Hamilton was a steady midfielder taking Mewis’ role while she was injured. For Riley, having too much depth isn’t the worst problem. However, Hamilton doesn’t deserve to just be cast aside.
  3. Draws aren’t enough for Chicago: The Red Stars are sitting in a solid spot at third place in the NWSL. However, draws aren’t enough to keep third place. Utah is rising and so is the Orlando Pride. Chicago needs wins — and they need to be on their toes. But, 12 saves from Alyssa Naeher isn’t bad either.

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