May 8, 2017 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - North Carolina FC
Cary, NC (May 7, 2017)- The NC Courage (4W-0L-0T, 12 pts) are still undefeated after beating the Boston Breakers (2W-2L-0T, 6 pts) 1-0 in a hard-fought battle at Jordan Stadium in Boston, Mass. on Sunday night. A record-breaking goal by Jessica McDonald in the first half was enough to give the Courage a perfect 4-0 record to start their inaugural season.
The beginning of the game saw limited action, with the NC Courage's first dangerous chance coming from Lynn Williams in the 12th minute. The striker maneuvered her way through two Boston defenders, but her shot was ultimately blocked by Breakers' Angela Salem.
Three minutes later, Boston's first go at goal was forward Adriana Leon's shot. The ball took an odd bounce, but NC Courage goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo was able to quickly adjust and get a hand on it to preserve the 0-0 score.
In the 32nd minute, McDonald opened up the scoring in consecutive games as she toed in a rebounded Abby Erceg header. The tally made McDonald the All-Time regular season leading goal scorer in the NWSL with 33 goals.
The rest of the half saw admirable attempts from both sides, with a final effort coming from Brazilian International Debinha in the first half's final seconds. The NC Courage headed into the locker room with the 1-0 lead.
The second half was just as hard-fought as the first, as possession and shots remained near even. Debinha picked up where she left off and continued to apply pressure on Boston's backline. In the 68th minute, she looked to finish a quick counterattack, but Boston's Abby Smith was able to get low to make the save.
The NC Courage kept up the momentum when Williams shook a Boston defender to take a shot on frame, but Smith was there yet again to snuff the attempt in the 72nd minute.
D'Angelo sealed the win after snagging Boston's final chance in the 89th minute, earning the team's fourth win and her third shutout of the season.
Notes: * With the win, the NC Courage stays on top of the standings with 12 points and a perfect record. * McDonald's second goal in as many weeks also broke the All-Time NWSL Regular Season record. She now has 33 goals, passing former Seattle Reign midfielder Kim Little. * Sabrina D'Angelo earned her third shutout of the season recording two saves * Taylor Smith earned her first start of 2017 after appearing in the previous three matches as a substitute. * While the Breaker's owned most of the possession with 52.5 percent over the Courage's 47.5, the NC Courage dominated the duels, winning 60 percent and outshooting Boston 10-9. * Next, the NC Courage continue their road swing with a visit to Orlando to face the Pride, on Sunday, May 14 at 5:00 p.m.
Lineups BOS: Abby Smith; Julie King ©, Megan Oyster, Christen Westphal (Amanda Frisbie, 68'), Allysha Chapman; Angela Salem, Rose Lavelle, Rosie White (Morgan Andrews, 61'); Adriana Leon, Natasha Dowie, Margaret Purce (Ifeoma Onumonu, 80')
Subs not used: Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Brooke Elby, Kylie Strom, Amanda Da Costa
NC: Sabrina D'Angelo; Abby Dahlkemper, Abby Erceg, Sam Witteman; Makenzy Doniak (Yuri Kawamura, 74'), Sam Mewis, Debinha (Rosana, 76'), McCall Zerboni, Taylor Smith; Jessica McDonald (Ashley Hatch, 85'), Lynn Williams
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, Courtney Niemiec, Meredith Speck, Kristen Hamilton
Score: BOS: 0 NC: 1
Goals: BOS: -- NC: Jessica McDonald (Unassisted, 32')
Cautions: BOS: Julie King 35', Rose White 53', Adriana Leon 82' NC: Taylor Smith 87'
Ejections: BOS: -- NC: -- Attendance: 2,276