Crystal Dunn, McCall Zerboni Lead North Carolina Courage Past Washington Spirit

Crystal Dunn

BOYDS, MARYLAND (APRIL 14, 2018) — Ashley Hatch got to see her former North Carolina Courage teammates Saturday afternoon.

Hatch, who was traded from the Courage to the Washington Spirit during the offseason, and the Spirit couldn’t register a victory over North Carolina.

The Courage currently remain undefeated and on top of the NWSL standings.

Crystal Dunn, who was part of the trade that sent Hatch to Washington, scored her first Courage goal in the 20th minute. Dunn also recorded an assist on Lynn Williams’ goal in the 66th minute.

McCall Zerboni notched a brace at the Maryland SoccerPlex with goals in the 24th and 48th minutes. Zerboni’s first goal was assisted by Jessica McDonald while Kristen Hamilton assisted the second goal.

Meanwhile, the Spirit took the early lead. Mallory Pugh, the 19-year-old forward from Colorado, scored past Sabrina D’Angelo in the 3rd minute.

However, Washington only had a second goal — scored by Francisca Ordega in the 58th minute — which couldn’t put them ahead of North Carolina.

The Courage have improved their record over Washington to 4-0-0. The Courage have never lost against the Spirit.

Also of note, Allysha Chapman made her Courage debut. Chapman was selected by the Courage in the Boston Breakers Dispersal Draft during the offseason.

The Canadian defender debuted in the 71th minute, replacing Merritt Mathias.

Three Takeaways

  1. Zerboni isn’t overshadowed: While the defenders of the Washington Spirit certainly kept tabs on big-name players like Dunn, McDonald, and Williams, Zerboni was left alone. Zerboni, despite being on a star-studded team, hasn’t been left in the shadows. She was arguably North Carolina’s most consistent player last season and she isn’t letting up.
  2. Sam Mewis still can’t go: Despite being in the mix for Courage Head Coach Paul Riley, Sam Mewis still found herself unable to make her season debut. Mewis has been battling a knee injury since the beginning of the off-season. She has missed time for the Courage and with the U.S. Women’s National Team. The Courage are getting along fine without her, and Mewis might have to wait one more week to step onto the pitch.
  3. Washington got overwhelmed: Both sides have some standout names on their roster. The Washington Spirit have a young, talented side and the Courage have a veteran-heavy, experienced group. The experience topped youth in this one, as Washington seemed overwhelmed for most of the second half. Spirit Head Coach Jim Gabarra couldn’t get his side out of their rut.

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