Cary, NC (Aug 15, 2021) - The North Carolina Courage defeated the Chicago Red Stars, 1-0, in front of a home crowd Sunday night. With this victory, the Courage remain in second place in league standings, and shrink the gap between top team, Portland Thorns, to five points. Sunday’s match featured a huge performance from Casey Murphy, bringing about her sixth clean sheet of the season, as well as a first Courage goal for Amy Rodriguez.
The Courage took the lead late in the first half after a handball in the box from Red Stars’ defender Kayla Sharples led to a penalty kick. As soon as the kick was awarded, Amy Rodriguez didn’t hesitate to confidently place the ball on the spot, and hit it high and hard up the middle leaving the Chicago Keeper Emily Boyd with no chance.
“It’s such a privilege to score, let alone play for this club,” Courage forward Amy Rodriguez said following the match. “I have all of my teammates behind me to thank, because they raise my level immensely and make me a far better player. This team has a championship mentality. It’s been clear from the day I showed up that they do things differently here, and you don’t accomplish the things that they have without that mindset.”
“I thought our first half performance was good,” Head Coach Paul Riley said. “We lost some focus a bit in the second half and Chicago caused us a lot of trouble in the last 15 minutes, but we’re happy with the points and know we have some things to work on before our next match.”
NCC: 40’ Amy Rodriguez - NCC 1, CHI 0
The Courage found the first tally of the night through an Amy Rodriguez penalty following a handball by Kayla Sharples. Rodriguez went for power up the middle and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for her first NC Courage goal.
With this win, the Courage remain in second place in the standings, closing the gap on first place Portland to five points
Another stellar performance from Casey Murphy, notching her sixth clean sheet of the season
Amy Rodriguez scored her first Courage goal on a penalty in the 40th min.
Next Match: The Courage remain at home for their next match against Kansas City on Saturday, August 21 at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets available here and the game will air live on Paramount+.
NCC (4-4-2): Casey Murphy, Carson Pickett, Abby Erceg(c), Kaleigh Kurtz, Merritt Matthias, Denise O’Sullivan, Havana Solaun, Meredith Speck(Angharad James — 63’), Debinha(Ryan Williams — 90+1), Amy Rodriguez(Cari Roccaro — 79’), Jessica McDonald
Subs Not Used: Rylee Baisden, Brittany Ratcliffe, Diane Caldwell, Schuyler Debree, Taylor Smith, Samantha Murphy
CHI (4-2-3-1): Emily Boyd, Alyssa Mautz(Zoe Morse — 81’), Sarah Gorden, Kayla Shaprles, Arin Wright(Nikki Stanton — 81’), Danielle Colaprico (Makenzy Doniak — 81’), Sarah Woldmoe, Mallory Pugh, Tatumn Milazzo(Rachel Hill — 60’), Kealia Watt, Katlyn Johnson
Subs Not Used: Bianca St. Georges, Cassie Miller, Ella Stevens, Zoey Goralski
NCC: Amy Rodriguez —40’
CHI: Kealia Watt — 87’