CARY, N.C. (August 17, 2018) - The North Carolina Courage (15W-1L-5D, 50 points) return to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park this Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm ET to take on the Orlando Pride (8W-7L-6D, 30 points).
The team will be presented with the 2018 NWSL Shield by NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy in a post-game ceremony. Saturday’s game is also the North Carolina Courage’s Breast Cancer Awareness night.
The Courage took on the Chicago Red Stars last Friday, earning one point after a 1-1 draw. Debinha scored the NC Courage’s only goal of the game in the 22nd minute. Jessica McDonald recorded the assist on the goal, giving her a sixth assist on the season. McDonald sits atop the league standings, tied with Christine Sinclair for most assists in 2018. With the draw, the Courage are still undefeated on the road this season.
The Orlando Pride fell to the Portland Thorns 2-0 in their last match on Aug. 11. The Pride’s last win was on July 14 against the Utah Royals. They currently sit in fourth place in the league, tied with the Chicago Red Stars with 30 points.
Last time around, the NC Courage defeated the Orlando Pride, 3-0, after scoring three goals in just as many minutes. Debinha scored the first of the goals in the 37th minute, followed by Merritt Mathias in the 39th minute and Jessica McDonald in the 40th minute. Katelyn Rowland earned the shutout for the Courage.
With a win, the NC Courage will tie the number of wins they had during their 2017 NWSL Shield-winning season. The team has already secured the 2018 NWSL shield and home-field advantage for the semifinals. The semifinal game will take place on Sunday, September 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Since relocating to Cary, the Courage are 3W-2L-0D against Orlando.
Saturday, June 30, 2018, Orlando, Fla.- 3-0 W (37’- Debinha, 39’- Mathias, 40’- McDonald)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Orlando, Fla.- 4-3 W (32’- McDonald, 52’- Ubogagu, 57’- Debinha, 62’- Mewis, 65’- Kennedy, 83’- Hill, 90’- McDonald)
Saturday, September 30, 2017, Cary, N.C.- 2-3 L (22’- Edmonds, 51’- Marta, 62’- Williams, 67’- Williams, 90’- Kennedy)
Sunday, May 14, 2017, Orlando, Fla.- 1-3 L (49’- Ubogagu, 50’- Camila, 51’- Debinha, 82’- Spencer)
Saturday, April 29, 2017, Cary, N.C. – 3-1 W (6’- McDonald, 27’- Camila, 33’- Mewis, 70’- Williams)
Fact to Know:
With a win, the NC Courage will tie the number of wins they had during their 2017 NWSL Shield-winning season.
Players to Watch:
North Carolina Courage – #10 Debinha
Debinha has been on a roll, scoring seven times this season. Being 5’2’’ does not stop the Brazilian, as she has scored multiple goals with her head. She has played 1,459 minutes in 18 games so far this season. She also has two assists. Debinha comes up big when it counts the most, scoring the only goal in two critical games this season.
Orlando Pride- #10 Marta
Marta, the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, brings her expertise to the Orlando Pride, creating opportunities and scoring goals. She has four goals and three assists on the season. She has started 13 of the 15 games and has played 1,130 minutes. Marta has taken 27 shots, 17 of which have been on target. She is an offensive threat that must be watched, especially on set pieces.