MATCH PREVIEW: Courage to Host Washington Spirit in Challenge Cup Final Saturday
North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit
Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m. ET
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
CARY, NC (May 3, 2022) – The North Carolina Courage have advanced to host the Washington Spirit in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup final on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast live on CBS Television Network, Paramount+ and Twitch (internationally).
Last Time Out: The North Carolina Courage bested the Kansas City Current, 2-1, in the NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinal match on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park.
The Courage first added to the scoreline when they were awarded a penalty kick, which saw Debinha step up to the spot to bury the goal, her fifth goal in five-straight Challenge Cup games, sixth on the season. With 10 minutes left in the half, Diana Ordoñez added to the Courage lead, netting her first professional/Courage goal in her first start. Late in the second half, KC forward Kristen Hamilton added a goal for the home side to split the Courage lead in half. However, the Courage were able to hold out until the end, solidifying the win and punching their ticket home to host the Washington Spirit in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup Final.
For the second time in their Challenge Cup history, the Courage have gone undefeated through all group stage play (2020: 4-0-0; 2022: 3-0-3), with the final match of that stint ending in a 2-2 draw against the Washington Spirit on April 23.
Where to Watch: CBS, Paramount+, Twitch (internationally)
Players to Watch Presented by JubliaRX.com
North Carolina Courage – #12 Diana Ordoñez
Selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2022 NWSL Draft, rookie forward Diana Ordoñez has made her mark early for the Courage. Ordoñez, who plays internationally for Mexico, earned her first pro/Courage start in Wednesday’s match and netted her first professional goal in the 36th minute off a beautiful cross from Kerolin Nicoli. Look for her to bring her intelligent read of the pitch and players to the match on Saturday.
Washington Spirit – #1 Aubrey Kingsbury
Ten rounds of penalty kicks decided the semifinal match between OL Reign and Washington on Wednesday night, with classic heroics from Spirit goaltender Aubrey Kingsbury. Kingsbury has fast become a stalwart in goal and her most recent performance is no exception with a penalty shootout conversion from the spot and a key stop on a shot from Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock.
Up Next: The North Carolina Courage will hit the road again to face off against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed live on Paramount+ and Twitch (international).