McDonald’s goal blasts North Carolina Courage past Seattle

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CARY, NC - JULY 20: Jessica McDonald during a North Carolina Courage training session on July 20, 2017, at WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3 in Cary, NC. (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CARY, NORTH CAROLINA – Kristen Hamilton celebrated her 26th birthday with three points as the North Carolina Courage took down the Seattle Reign FC.

Hamilton’s birthday was yesterday, April 17. To kick off her birthday-match celebration, Hamilton received the lone yellow card of the match in the 14th minute.

The yellow card was the result of a foul on Seattle midfielder Allie Long.

Jessica McDonald’s goal blasts North Carolina Courage past Seattle

However, Hamilton bounced back. In the 70th minute, Hamilton found forward Jessica McDonald, who was one-on-one with Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos.

After beating defender Lauren Barnes, McDonald slotted the shot in Seattle’s net.

The Courage tested Betos all night, taking 22 shots with five finding the frame on goal. Betos made four saves for the Reign.

After the match, Courage Head Coach Paul Riley said that the second half was “a great second half.”

“We created three or four wide open breakaways, and we kept everybody here in their seats until the end as we do normally,” said Riley. “The first half was OK… but the second half was really really good.”

McDonald’s goal was her second of the season.

Three Takeaways

  1. Alright, Sabrina, you’ve got me hooked: For the first couple weeks of this MLS season, Courage fans never got a clear explanation on the goalkeeper situation. Sabrina D’Angelo has started and featured in all 90 minutes, for every Courage match this season. There was no clarity given on why Katelyn Rowland was delegated to the bench. However, this match was D’Angelo’s third clean sheet of the season. She’s starting to win me over.
  2. Welcome back, Sam: Sam Mewis made her season debut on Wednesday night in the 72th minute. Mewis injured her knee back in November with the U.S. Women’s National Team. However, she was called upon to replace Hamilton. Mewis didn’t do anything flashy, but that’s okay, because Hamilton managed before her.
  3. No Rapinoe, big problem: Megan Rapinoe injured her hamstring last weekend against Sky Blue FC. The issue is still lingering, as Rapinoe was ruled out of the match in North Carolina. The team seemed a bit lost without her, as Beverly Yanez filled her slot. In total, Seattle only took five shots with one on goal.

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