SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (June 23, 2018) — The North Carolina Courage might not be undefeated anymore, but it still remains the top club in the NWSL.
After the club’s first defeat by the Utah Royals FC on June 16, North Carolina bounced back to get back in the typical winning fashion. After the club’s first loss, Courage Head Coach Paul Riley noted how important the response would be.
North Carolina Courage Thumps Seattle Reign in Resounding Win
NorCarolinaian didn’t have a problem responding.
A massive 4-1 victory over the former second-place Seattle Reign was dictated by North Carolina from the start. Now, Seattle sits in third place, behind the Orlando Pride and Courage.
Reign defender Megan Oyster got her side on the board first. Oyster’s goal occurred in the 18th minute, in front of 4,032 fans.
However, the Courage and its slew of attackers got the momentum rolling for the visitors. Lynn Williams put North Carolina on the board in the 27th minute. Before halftime, Crystal Dunn got the visitors in the lead in the 33rd minute.
The second half was dominated by North Carolina as well. Three minutes after kicking off another 45 minutes of action, Merritt Mathias scored her second goal of the season.
Dunn added the last insult to Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams with the game-winning shot in the 70th minute. Dunn now has six goals in 13 NWSL matches.
“We knew North Carolina was going to come out really hard and put a lot of pressure on us,” Oyster said. “I don’t think we handled that pressure well. We could have more composed, kept the ball better. We’ll just have to pick our heads up, re-watch the game, observe ourselves and see what we can do better.”
About her goal, Oyster said that getting a centerback in the box is “always fun.”
“[Megan] Rapinoe hits a great ball in the box,” Oyster said. “My job in that role is to help out with any loose balls in the box. It landed on my foot, so all I had to do was put it in the back of the net.”
Time for Saturday's #NWSL highlights.
— NWSL (@NWSL) June 24, 2018
Zerboni Hits 10,000 Minutes
McCall Zerboni has left her mark on the NWSL.
The midfielder for the North Carolina Courage made history by becoming the league’s first player to reach 10,000 minutes.
“All I can say is she is the heartbeat of the team: worker, thinker, talker, and a motivational machine,” Riley wrote. “Privilege to coach her everyday. Getting better with every game. 10,000 minutes CONGRATS McCall. Exceptional talent and awesome woman. Cheers to 10,000 more.”
The 10,000 minutes was officially reached in the 21st minute of the match.
22'- She's done it! McCall Zerboni is the first player in NWSL history to reach 10,000 minutes!
— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) June 23, 2018
- Hardly any offense for Seattle: What matters most in soccer is scoring and Seattle didn’t do much of that. Going deeper, Seattle didn’t threaten goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland all too much either, only forcing her to make four saves. However, the other end was much different as Lydia Williams made 10 saves.
- Still wondering about what’s not broken: Think that Michelle Betos could have done a better job against North Carolina? There’s a chance. Reign Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski made the decision to halt Betos’ budding — and successful — season to put Williams back in the starting role. However, Betos was doing a solid job in net. Maybe now Andonovski will put her back.
- While one Megan scored…: The other did not. Megan Rapinoe was involved in some action for the Reign, taking six shots and aiming four on goal. However, the Courage defense knew that Rapinoe has a hot-streak in terms of scoring and shut her down properly.
— NWSL (@NWSL) June 24, 2018