Match Recap: Courage Rout Chicago Red Stars, 4-0
CARY, NC (August 20, 2022) – The North Carolina Courage got back to their winning ways on Saturday night, putting up a commanding 4-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars at WakeMed Soccer Park. The win marked keeper Casey Murphy’s second clean sheet of the season and featured goals from Diana Ordoñez, Fuka and Rylee Baisden.
“I thought it was our most complete performance probably since the Challenge Cup,” Head Coach Sean Nahas said. “We talked about togetherness and finding a way. I thought the way we played and the spaces we wanted to attack and expose, our players were brilliant at it. They were disciplined and they competed for each other. This was long overdue … it was a different look in us today.”
The match also saw a series of firsts, including a first NWSL start, goal and assist for recent signee Fuka, and a first NWSL goal for Rylee Baisden.
As she is wont to do, Courage forward Diana Ordoñez put up another Rookie-of-the-Year performance, opening the night’s scoring in the 10th minute of play. Defender Carson Pickett sent a corner kick straight to the head of Ordoñez to put the home side up 1-0 early.
Though the first half ended with just the one goal, the second 45 saw the match hit its scoring stride. Another Carson Pickett corner kick in the 64th minute started the play with the ball ending up in traffic, but it was newcomer Fuka who came through, slotting her shot past the arms of Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher.
“[Fuka] is a special talent,” Nahas said. “She’s comfortable on the ball, she finds great spaces, she’s simple. She’s disciplined. The players love being around her and she has a great energy about who she is. Anyone who comes out of the JFA is a well-rounded player — technically sound and there’s not anything that rattles her.”
Just 10 minutes later Ordoñez struck again, this time taking advantage of a successful close-range pass from Fuka and sealing her third brace of the season.
Rounding out the night, Courage forward Rylee Baisden earned the title of Impact Sub when, in the 89th minute, she connected with Kerolin Nicoli to bury her first regular-season NWSL/Courage goal.
“When I come in late in the game, I have a job to close the game out,” Baisden said. “We ended up having space in the box. Luckily, Kero heard her name and looked up and I was there, and I had some space. We practice it all the time, the crossing and finishing, so it was just connecting with a teammate again.”
Up Next: The North Carolina Courage round out their homestand on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. ET when they play host to Portland Thorns. Tickets are available here, and the match will be available to stream on Paramount+ and Twitch.
- Diana Ordoñez netted her ninth and tenth goals on the season, making her the youngest player in NWSL history to reach 10 goals in a single season.
- Fuka earned her first NWSL start and recorded her first NWSL goal and assist.
- Rylee Baisden scored her first NWSL goal.
- Casey Murphy registered her second clean sheet of the season.
NC: Casey Murphy, Carson Pickett (Jaelene Daniels — 83’), Abby Erceg, Kaleigh Kurtz, Merritt Mathias (Malia Berkely — 76’), Debinha (Rylee Baisden — 83’), Denise O’Sullivan, Brianna Pinto (Ryan Williams — 76’), Fuka Nagano (Meredith Speck — 80’), Diana Ordoñez, Kerolin Nicoli
CHI: Alyssa Naeher, Tatumn Milazzo (Sarah Luebbert — 61’), Zoe Morse, Amanda Kowalski, Rachel Hill, Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, Bianca St-Georges, Mallory Pugh (Chelsie Dawber — 76’), Ava Cook (Sarah Griffith — 46’), Yuki Nagasato (Ella Stevens — 76’)
NC: Diana Ordoñez (Carson Pickett — 10’), (Fuka — 74’); Fuka — 64’; Rylee Baisden (Kerolin — 89’)
NC: Merritt Mathias — 72’
CHI: Ella Stevens — 81’