Stoppage Time Heroics Earn NC Courage 1-1 Draw at Seattle
Seattle, WA (August 25, 2018) – A stoppage-time goal by Lynn Williams earned the North Carolina Courage a 1-1 draw against Seattle Reign FC on Saturday afternoon at UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium. Despite going down a goal in the 67th minute, the NWSL Shield winners never let the gas off the pedal, controlling most of the game and outshooting the hosts 29-6.
With the result, the Courage (16W-1L-6D, 54 points) tied the NWSL regular-season points record, set by Seattle in 2014.
The Reign tried to apply pressure quickly, looking for an early tally as they forced two quick corner kicks within the first two minutes. The NC Courage responded immediately, adjusting to the home team’s pace and controlling the tempo for the better part of the scoreless half.
In the 14th minute forward Jessica McDonald had a look as she volleyed a rocket toward goal, forcing Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams to make the first of her six first-half saves. As the half wore on, Crystal Dunn found herself in the box and tried to curl the ball over Williams, but her attempt sailed high. Just two minutes later, McDonald attempted to head home a beautiful cross from right back Merritt Mathias, but Williams was quick to make another save. Despite outshooting Seattle 14-4, the Courage were unable to find the elusive back of the net, fixing the first half score to 0-0.
Out of the gates in the second half both teams tried to break the deadlock, but it was the Courage who put together another string of chances. In the 57th minute, midfielder Samantha Mewis took on her defenders and sent a shot straight into Lydia Williams’ arms. Just a minute later McDonald took her chance, forcing the Reign keeper into a diving save.
Seattle tried to bounce back as Jodie Taylor nearly found the back of the net, but Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland was quick to dive and deflect the ball. Seattle’s temporary lead would come just a minute later. A well-placed corner kick from Jessica Fishlock found the head of Theresa Nielsen, who headed the ball high up in the air toward goal. As Rowland was coming off her line covering Taylor, the ball took an awkward bounce and ended in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Down a goal, the Courage did not let up and continued to look for the equalizer. In the 73rdminute, Lynn Williams came down the flank and crossed the ball near post toward midfielder Debinha, who barely missed her mark. Another chance for the visitors came in the 88th when center back Abby Erceg headed a corner toward goal, only to see her chance thwarted by Nielsen with a clearance off the line.
The equalizing tally finally came in the fifth minute of stoppage time just before the final whistle. Lynn Wiliams took advantage of a scramble after a corner kick and slotted the ball past the Reign FC goalkeeper to keep the Courage undefeated on the road.
Next up, the NC Courage return to action on Saturday, September 8 as they host the Houston Dash at 7:30 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The match will be the nightcap of the first ever pro double header in club history with NCFC kicking off at 5:00 p.m. against Nashville SC. Fans can purchase tickets for what is sure to be an exciting day of soccer by visiting the Coastal Credit Union Box Office, by calling 919.459.8144 or online at either NCCourage.com or NorthCarolinaFC.com
NCC (4-4-2): Katelyn Rowland; Crystal Dunn, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Merritt Mathias; Debinha, McCall Zerboni, Samantha Mewis, Denise O’Sullivan (Heather O’Reilly, 72’); Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald (Kristen Hamilton, 81’)
Subs not used: Sabrina D’Angelo, Kaleigh Kurtz, Meredith Speck, Liz Eddy, Cari Roccaro
SEA (4-3-3): Lydia Williams; Stephanie Catley (Christen Westphal, 90+), Lauren Barnes, Megan Oyster, Theresa Nielsen; Morgan Andrews, Jessica Fishlock ©, Kristen McNabb; Jasmyne Spencer, Jodie Taylor, Elizabeth Addo
Subs not used: Michelle Betos, Jaycie Johnson, Nahomi Kawasumi, Alyssa Kleiner, Adriana Leon, Rumi Utsugi
SEA: Theresa Nielsen (Jessica Fishlock, 67’)
NCC: Lynn Williams (Unassisted, 90+’)
SEA: Jodie Taylor 79’
NCC: Jessica McDonald 23’, Denise O’Sullivan 45+’