Stoppage Time Goal by Jessica McDonald Lifts North Carolina Courage

Jessica McDonald

CARY, NORTH CAROLINA (March 31, 2018) — After more than 90 minutes of action, Jessica McDonald secured a late game-winning goal for the North Carolina Courage.

Off an assist from Jaelene Hinkle in the 92nd minute, McDonald blasted a shot off her right foot from inside the box. Her shot went right by Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.

The match was Sky Blue’s first of the season since they had a bye-week during the NWSL opening weekend.

Stoppage Time Goal by Jessica McDonald Lifts North Carolina Courage

A key component part of Sky Blue FC’s offense — Raquel Rodriguez — was missing. Sky Blue listed her on the NWSL injury report with an “excused absence.”

The Courage took full advantage.

They took 23 total shots, with five hitting the frame. Sheridan was forced to make four saves to preserve a potential shutout. However, McDonald’s final tally ruined the efforts.

Sky Blue’s offense was non-existent — even with Carli Lloyd in the starting lineup. The trio of Shea Groom, Katie Johnson and Savannah McCaskill up top couldn’t gel together.

Sky Blue only had three shots, with none registering on goal. Courage goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo spent an uneventful night in goal at the hands of Sky Blue.

Three Takeaways

  1. Denise Reddy’s substitutes were too early: After finally getting some sort of rhythm down, Sky Blue FC Head Coach Denise Reddy took out Groom and Johnson. While Adriana Leon and Micheala Abam are good substitutes, their inclusion in the match was way too early.
  2. Carli Lloyd is still dull: After a horrendous season last year with the Houston Dash, Carli Lloyd got traded to Sky Blue. In a three-way trade, Lloyd got to go back home — which was exactly what she wanted. With an extra week to prepare and plan with her new teammates, Lloyd was dull against a tough Courage defense.
  3. What will happen when Samantha¬†Mewis comes back?: The North Carolina Courage have two wins already this NWSL season — and that’s without midfielder Samantha Mewis. An integral part of North Carolina’s offense, Mewis is currently sidelined with a right knee strain. Her timetable to come back is not certain, but when she does she will bolster an already stacked Courage team.

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