NC Courage Back on Top After 1-0 Victory Over Seattle Reign FC

Aug 5, 2017

Cary, N.C. (August 5, 2017)- The North Carolina Courage reclaimed first place in the NWSL standings after downing the Seattle Reign 1-0 on Saturday evening. Lynn Williams’ first half goal was the lone effort that separated the two teams in a thrilling match at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

"I am really happy with the result," said head coach Paul Riley. "You have to win your home games in this league if you’re going to do damage in the league, and we won our home game, so I’m happy with the group. We didn’t give [Seattle] a lot of chances to be honest with you. All in all, with those players coming back from the west coast, I think it was a really good performance. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit, all four of them, for coming back and performing like they did."

Four of the five players that were called for international duty during the Tournament of Nations, Williams, Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper and Taylor Smith, started the match for the Courage and showed no signs of fatigue. North Carolina started strong when an early break from Makenzy Doniak was blocked by a recovering defender, which led to a corner for the home side.

The NC Courage dominated possession in the Reign’s half with several chances, but nothing big enough to create a gap. In the 32nd minute of play, the Courage's determination led to the night's only goal when Doniak dribbled with confidence at the left back one-v-one. She took a big touch past the defender and delivered a driven ball on the ground into the box. Williams met the cross with touch and fired a low shot past the outstretched hand of Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.

The second half began with both teams searching for a goal. In Seattle's case, the team clawed for the equalizer. For the NC Courage, it was a quest for a more comfortable lead. In the 53rd minute, Kristen Hamilton played a through ball across the field to a running Doniak. The winger’s first touch was slightly behind her, and pressure from the defender caused her to fire her shot over the bar.

The home team showed some flare in the 59th minute in a set play, as two players dummied the ball before Mewis sent a curling effort just wide of the near post. Seattle came close to tying the game in the 64th minute as a cross was met by Beverly Yanez, whose shot was deflected by her own teammate, forcing Katelyn Rowland into a save.

The exciting game ended comfortably for the Courage, thanks to the relentless pressure from Williams and substitute Jessica McDonald. With the win, North Carolina regained the top NWSL spot heading into Week 16. The team will be on the road next week as they travel to FC Kansas City for a rescheduled match due to inclement weather. That game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET at Children's Mercy Victory Field on Thursday, August 10. 

Box Score
NCC: Katelyn Rowland; Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Taylor Smith; Mccall Zerboni, Samantha Mewis, Makenzy Doniak (Jessica McDonald, 62’), Kristen Hamilton (Sam Witteman, 90+), Ashley Hatch (Debinha, 87’), Lynn Williams
Subs not used: Sabrina D’Angelo, Denise O'Sullivan, Stephanie Ochs, Meredith Speck

SEA: Haley Kopmeyer; Kiersten Dallstream (Katlyn Johnson, 63’), Rachel Corsie, Lauren Barnes, Merritt Mathias (Elli Reed, 79’), Jessica Fishlock, Christine Nairn (Kristen McNabb, 79’), Lindsay Elston, Rebekah Stott, Beverly Yanez, Nahomi Kawasumi

Subs not used: Madalyn Schiffel, Carson Pickett, Larissa Crummer, Madeline Bauer
NCC: 1
SEA: 0
NCC: Lynn Williams (Makenzy Doniak, 32’)
NCC: ---
SEA: Rebekah Stott (24’), Lauren Barnes (86')
NCC: ---
SEA: —
Attendance: 5,249


Proud Sponsors of North Carolina Football Club