Cary, NC – The North Carolina Courage beat the top-ranked team in the league this weekend, in the first home game since the United States Women’s National Team won the World Cup.
Dominant Win Over Top Team
The North Carolina Courage played Seattle-based Reign FC this past Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. More than 6,000 fans came out to see this match, as the #1 and #2 ranked teams playing each other.
For the first half of gameplay, Kristen Hamilton attacked Reign’s net repeatedly, with Reign goalkeeper Casey Murphy blocking the shots. Then, Hamilton got an assist to Lynn Williams in the 22nd minute and Williams scored, giving the Courage an early lead.
But the Courage’s lead did not stop there. Only a few minutes later, Debinha and Merritt Mathias made a charge down the field. Mathias made a big diagonal pass that made it to Debinha, who got a long volley in to score. Before the match even got to the half-hour mark, the Courage were already leading 2-0.
The score stayed consistent for the rest of the game and the Courage picked up an important win over a dangerous opponent.
“This lineup is doing really well,” said Courage head coach Paul Riley. “Hamilton had another really good game. Lynn Williams has hit some great form right now and Debinha has been special.”
Analyzing the Team
While the energized crowd was likely helped by the buzz from the United States’ World Cup win, both the Courage and Reign FC were missing their winning players, with Samantha Mewis, Jessica McDonald, Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper not in attendance. Similarly, Reign FC was missing national team captain Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long.
The Courage play Reign FC again on Saturday, August 24, 2019, also at home, and this time both teams will be fully staffed.
With Saturday’s win, the Courage remain unbeaten at home and are back to being the top-ranked team in the league. But climbing up the rankings are the Courage’s rival, Portland Thorns FC.
The next home game is Friday, August 2, 2019 against the Washington Spirit.
Story by staff reports. Photos courtesy of the North Carolina Courage.