Match Recap: Courage Bested by OL Reign
CARY, NC (Sept. 17, 2022) — The North Carolina Courage fell to OL Reign, 2-1, Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage’s three-match win streak and four-match home win streak ended with three matches to play in the regular season.
The Courage (7-8-4, 25 points) held an edge in shots (16-12), possession (56.4%) and corner kicks (10-4) despite the loss. OL Reign (8-4-7, 31 points) had a 6-5 advantage in shots on goal and committed 10 fouls to the Courage’s six.
It was a dream start for the Courage in front of a home crowd of 6,398 fans when the home side scored in the sixth minute. Kerolin Nicoli played Ryan Williams through down the right flank and her centering pass deflected off Reign defender Alana Cook and into the net.
Rose Lavelle had the answer just minutes later after a Megan Rapinoe shot was saved by a diving Casey Murphy but the rebound took a fortuitous bounce to Lavelle alone in the box for the finish. Rapinoe netted a goal of her own in the 26th minute, scoring off a set piece to break the tie, sneaking a low curler from 40 yards out just past a diving Murphy inside the near post.
Of the various near-misses, arguably the Courage’s best chance to level the match came in a 30-second span around the 50th minute when three shots rattled in rapid succession. Debinha just missed, then Kerolin Nicoli had a shot saved and Debinha rifled the rebound just over the bar. A few minutes later, a beautiful insert by Denise O’Sullivan was lifted off the head of Kaleigh Kurtz towards goal, but landed on top of the net. The Courage would get four more shots off through the match, but none were able to find paydirt.
- This is the first-ever loss by NC Courage to OL Reign at WakeMed Soccer Park, having been 6-0 at home against the west coast club previously.
- The lone goal pushed the Courage’s consecutive matches with a goal to 11, remaining the longest active streak in the NWSL.
- Danish forward Rikke Madsen made her NWSL and Courage debut when she entered the match in the 72nd minute. She had one shot, which was blocked, in her first appearance.
Next Match: The North Carolina Courage hit the road for a midweek match on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. ET when they travel to take on the Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+ and Twitch (international). Follow @TheNCCourage on social media for live updates throughout the match.
NC (4-4-2): Casey Murphy, Carson Pickett, Abby Erceg ©, Kaleigh Kurtz, Ryan Williams, Brianna Pinto (Meredith Speck), Denise O’Sullivan, Fuka Nagano (Rikke Madsen), Debinha, Kerolin Nicoli (Jaelene Daniels), Diana Ordóñez (Merritt Mathias)
Subs Not Used: Katelyn Rowland, Katie Bowen, Kiki Pickett, Kiki Pickett, Tess Boade, Rylee Baisden
RGN (4-3-3): Phallon Tullis-Joyce, Sofia Huerta, Alana Cook, Sam Hiatt, Jimena Lopez (Phoebe McClernon), Nikki Stanton (Quinn), Olivia Van der Jagt, Rose Lavelle, Bethany Balcer (Veronica Latsko), Jordyn Huitema, Megan Rapinoe © (Tziarra King)
Subs Not Used: Laurel Ivory, Claudia Dickey, Jess Fishlock, Marley Canales, Olivia Athens
NC: (OG) #4 Alana Cook — 6’
RGN: #16 Rose Lavelle — 11’; #15 Megan Rapinoe — 26’
NC: #8 Denise O’Sullivan — 45+1’
RGN: #24 Veronica Latsko — 84’; #21 Phoebe McClernon — 90+1’