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NC Courage Match Against Houston Dash Caps Off Historic Doubleheader Night

By NC Courage Communications, 09/07/18, 2:45PM EDT



Match Preview:
The North Carolina Courage (16W-1L-6D, 54 points) will host the Houston Dash in their final game of the 2018 NWSL Regular Season this Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. This game will be the night cap of the first ever professional soccer doubleheader in the Triangle. 
The Courage last played on August 25 against Seattle Reign FC, where a Lynn Williams goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time earned the 2018 NWSL Shield Winners a 1-1 draw. Abby Dahlkemper sent in a corner kick that touched multiple North Carolina and Seattle players before being finished by Williams in the middle of the scramble. With the draw, the North Carolina Courage did not lose a regular season game away from home this season.
Lynn Williams now sits solely in second place in the Golden Boot race with 12 goals. Sam Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars leads the league with 15 goals. Williams won the Golden Boot during the 2016 NWSL season with 14 goals on the season. In her 2017 season, Williams scored nine goals.
The Houston Dash beat Sky Blue FC, 6-1, in their last match on August 25. Six different Houston Dash players scored during the game. With six goals, the Dash now have 35 goals on the season, a franchise record. 
The NC Courage and Houston Dash played in Houston, Texas on June 3 in a match that ended in a 1-1, draw. Houston scored first in the 48thminute thanks to a Kealia Ohai goal. The Courage answered in the 79thminute when Frannie Crouse buried a ball in the back of the net for her first ever professional goal. 
Having already clinched the shield, the North Carolina Courage have secured home-field advantage for the semifinals. The semifinal game will take place on Sunday, September 16, at 3:00 p.m. ET. While the opponent is still unknown, the Seattle Reign, Portland Thorns, and Chicago Red Stars have clinched the three remaining playoff spots.
Series History:
Since relocating to Cary, the Courage are 3W-0L-1D against the Dash
Saturday, September 9, 2017, Cary, N.C. – 1-0 W (26’- Hamilton) 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Edinburg, T.X. – 4-0 W (13’- Mewis, 38’-Williams, 51’- Debinha, 56’- Hatch)
Saturday, April 24, 2018, Houston, T.X. – 2-0 W (Dunn, 3’, Hamilton, 48’)
Saturday, June 3, 2018, Houston, T.X.- 1-1 D (Ohai, 48’, Crouse, 79’)

Fact to Know:
The NC Courage have several players returning from international duty. Debinha will be returning from representing Brazil, while Sabrina D’Angelo will return from representing Canada and Denise O’Sullivan will return from representing Ireland. Darian Jenkins will return from the U-23 USWNT. Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, and McCall Zerboni will return from the USWNT. Zerboni suffered a season-ending left elbow break during a friendly against Chile on Tuesday, September 4. 
Players to Watch:
North Carolina Courage – #13 Abby Dahlkemper
Abby Dahlkemper has started 18 games this season for a total of 1,620 minutes. The defender is a vital part of the Courage back line that is only allowing .74 goals per game. Dahlkemper has made 59 clearances this season and has a 80% success rate on tackles. She returns from representing the USWNT in friendlies against Chile. 
Houston Dash- # 7 Kealia Ohai
Kelia Ohai has started 17 of the 18 games she has played this season for a total of 1348 minutes. Ohai has taken 21 shots and scored 5 goals on the season, including a goal against the Courage last time around. She had the NWSL Goal of the Week in week 14 and was named to the June NWSL Team of the Month. She also distributes the ball well to her teammates, earning her four assists.