Match Preview: NC Courage Kicks Off Inaugural Season at the Washington Spirit
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NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE AT WASHINGTON SPIRIT
KICKOFF: SATURDAY, APRIL 15, 2017 – 3:00 P.M. ET
LIVE UPDATES: @THENCCOURAGE #WASVNC
North Carolina Football Club announced on January 9 that it had acquired the rights to the National Women’s Soccer League 2016 Champion team, the Western New York Flash, for the 2017 NWSL season.
Since coming to the Triangle, the Courage have completed a perfect, unbeaten 4-0 preseason and are now ready to carry that success into their long awaited inaugural season with the opener against the Washington Spirit this Saturday.
Offensive production came from numerous sources, as Lynn Williams, Rosana, Debinha and Jess McDonald found the back of the net in the four consecutive preseason wins.
The Courage maintained the key core of the 2016 NWSL Championship winning Western New York Flash’s roster, including McDonald, Williams, Sam Mewis, Abby Erceg and Sabrina D’Angelo. Williams was last year’s NWSL Golden Boot winner and League MVP, with 11 goals and five assists in 2016, while D’Angelo led the Flash to their championship, as the starting goalkeeper helped propel the club to their win in penalty kicks.
McDonald, Williams, Mewis and D’Angelo, as well as new faces in Rosana and Debinha, are all important players to their respective national team rosters. Lately, Mewis has been part of the starting XI for a U.S. Women’s National Team that most recently played to a 5-1 win over Russia in an international friendly on Sunday.
Last Time Out:
The Courage played to a perfect preseason that featured matches against the University of North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and the University of Tennessee.
In the Western New York Flash’s Championship winning match against the Washington Spirit in October, the Flash came back from a deficit, as Williams tied the game in the 124th minute, seconds before the whistle, to send the match to penalty kicks. D’Angelo made all three saves, and the Flash became the first No. 4 seed to win the NWSL Championship.
Players to Watch:
#5 Sam Mewis
In 2016, Sam Mewis played in and started 14 games for the Flash, where she scored five goals and added two assists. Through Sunday’s U.S. Women’s National Team win over Russia, Mewis now has 23 caps and four goals with the senior team. This year, the 24-year-old has made five starts already, alongside the likes of Meghan Klingenberg and Carli Lloyd.
#19 Kristie Mewis
The older Mewis sister is new to the Spirit, as she came to the team via a trade prior to the NWSL season, but like her sister, she is no stranger to the U.S. Women’s National Team. The 26-year-old made her debut for the senior team in February of 2013 and has played as a midfielder for the U-15, U-17, U-20 and U-23 U.S. National Teams as well. Last year, the Boston College product, made 13 starts for the Boston Breakers.
Coming up Next:
The Courage will return home on Saturday, April 22 as the club hosts the Portland Thorns at 7:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park for their inaugural season home opener. The first 500 fans will get a free Sahlen’s hot dog and there will be post-game fireworks. For tickets and information, please visit NCFCTix.com.