Courage End Skid with Dominant Win over Chicago

by Fran Stuchbury
August 22, 2022 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - North Carolina Courage

North Carolina Courage battle the Chicago Red Stars
North Carolina Courage battle the Chicago Red Stars
(North Carolina Courage, Credit: Fran Stuchbury)

The North Carolina Courage defeated the Chicago Red Stars 4-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, the Courage's first victory in seven games after going 0-3-3 during that brutal stretch. It was also North Carolina's first victory at home during the regular season.

"It was our most complete performance probably since the Challenge Cup," said North Carolina Head Coach Sean Nahas. "This was long overdue; we found ways to lose games and tie games. There was a different look in them today. I'm proud of them, it's a good reward."

The Courage opened the scoring in the 10th minute on a goal by forward Diana Ordoñez, marking her fifth straight game with a goal. North Carolina selected Ordoñez who played at Virginia with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NWSL Draft. She has been a member of the Mexico National Team since 2022.

"We do a lot of work on our set pieces," explained Nahas. "On corners, half the goal is the service. Setting picks and getting in the right spot helped us on the first goal."

The Courage added to their lead in the second half in the 64th minute thanks to midfielder Fuka Nagano. It was Nagano's first NWSL goal in her first NWSL start after signing with the Courage on July 12th. She has also played for the Japan National Team since 2018.

North Carolina extended its lead to 3-0 in the 74th minute with the second goal by Ordoñez. Her ninth and tenth goals of the year made her the youngest player in NWSL history to reach 10 goals in a single season at the age of 20.

"If she's not NWSL Rookie of the Year I don't who is," said Nahas. "She's been brilliant for us."

The last score of the game came in the 88th minute by forward Rylee Baisden, her first NWSL goal.

"When I come in late in the game, I have a job to close the game out," Baisden said. "We ended up having space in the box. Luckily, Kero heard her name and looked up and I was there, and I had some space. We practice it all the time, the crossing and finishing, so it was just connecting with a teammate again."

After playing at Pepperdine from 2012 through 2016 Baidesen competed in Australia from 2018 until 2020. She signed with North Carolina in September of 2020.

The North Carolina Courage's next game is at home on Wednesday, August 24th against the Portland Thorns.

Images from this story

North Carolina Courage battle the Chicago Red Stars
North Carolina Courage battle the Chicago Red Stars

(Fran Stuchbury)

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