North Carolina Courage at Washington Spirit
Saturday, June 29 – 7:00 p.m.- WRAL2
Maureen Hendricks Field @ Maryland Soccerplex
Cary, N.C. (June 27, 2019)- The North Carolina Courage (3W-2L-4D) will return to action after a bye week to take on the Washington Spirit (5W-1L-3D) on Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m. ET. The two teams will face off on Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland. The NC Courage’s captain, Abby Erceg, and Brazilian international Debinha have both rejoined the team following their World Cup stints.
After an electrifying 3-0 win against the Orlando Pride on June 1, the Courage’s last match ended in a 1-1 draw with the Portland Thorns on June 15. The team will look to earn more points against the Washington Spirit as the month of June comes to a close.
In the 1-1 draw on June 15, Julia Spetsmark scored the Courage’s game-tying goal in the 59th minute. The Swedish forward flicked the ball over Portland’s goalkeeper for a picture-perfect goal that was nominated for the NWSL’s Goal of the Week. Defender, Merritt Mathias, had the assist on Spetsmark spectacular goal. Mathias now has two assists on the season.
The Washington Spirit currently sit atop the NWSL standings in their first season under head coach Richie Burke. The Spirit have drawn the last two games, and most recently remained scoreless against the Houston Dash. Former NC Courage draft pick, Ashley Hatch, leads the Washington Spirit in goals this season with three.
Abby Erceg has returned from her time playing with the New Zealand Women’s National Team in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Before the World Cup, the Courage captain started and played every minute of seven games. She had one goal on May 27 against Reign FC.
Debinha has also joined the team after Brazil fell in the Round of 16 to the tournament’s host country, France. She will look to continue where she left off with the Courage having scored one goal and adding one assist before World Cup play.
Up Next: The North Carolina Courage return home for their second match of the season against the Houston Dash on Friday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The match is presented by Segra and is part of the North Carolina Football Club’s Independence Day Celebration. A spectacular fireworks show will follow the match for fans to enjoy.
Players to Watch:
North Carolina Courage- #10 Debinha
Fresh from the World Cup, Debinha will look to score against the Washington Spirit. The Brazilian came extremely close to scoring goals in multiple games at the World Cup and came just short each time. She will look to bring that same momentum to the field on Saturday.
Washington Spirit- #33 Ashley Hatch
The former NC Courage player is not shy in the box. Hatch has scored three goals so far this season on 18 shots and half of her shots have been on frame. Hatch has played in nine matches for 777 minutes heading into Saturday’s game.