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 North Carolina Courage

Courage Falls, 1-0, Behind Second-Half Penalty

June 9, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
North Carolina Courage News Release

PORTLAND, Ore. - The North Carolina Courage fell to the Portland Thorns, 1-0, behind a second-half penalty from Sophia Smith on Saturday at Providence Park.

Smith broke the tightly contested game open in the 79' from the PK spot after a VAR check awarded the Thorns a penalty for a foul on the edge of the box. Ryan Williams was shown her second yellow card of the match following the check.

Victoria Pickett nearly salvaged a point for the Courage, with the substitute heading a corner off the post in stoppage time. The ball bounced off the post and into the back of a Portland defender, but deflected wide of the goal.

The Thorns outshot the Courage 16-10, while the Courage held 52.1% of the possession.

Match Notes:

Meredith Speck made her first NWSL regular season start since June 24, 2023. The veteran midfielder made her return to the Courage lineup as a substitute in recent weeks before getting the starting nod against the Thorns.

Denise O'Sullivan also returned from injury, starting the match after leaving the team's May 12 match against the Kansas City Current early in the second half.

Casey Murphy made four saves, denying all of the Thorns' open-play opportunities.

Up Next:

The NC Courage return to WakeMed Soccer Park to take on the Orlando Pride on Saturday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. for the team's Juneteenth match. Tickets are available here. The match will be streamed live on NWSL+.

Box Score

NCC (3-4-3): Casey Murphy; Kaleigh Kurtz, Malia Berkely, Ryan Williams; Tyler Lussi (Feli Rauch - 82'), Denise O'Sullivan ©, Narumi Miura, Bianca St-Georges; Meredith Speck (Brianna Pinto - 65'), Ashley Sanchez (Victoria Pickett - 82'), Haley Hopkins.

Subs Not Used: Marisa Bova, Jenna Winebrenner, Riley Jackson, Dani Weatherholt, Landy Mertz, Manaka Matsukubo.

POR (4-2-3-1): Shelby Hogan; Marie Müller, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelli Hubly, Nicole Payne (Reyna Reyes - 67'); Hina Sugita, Sam Coffey (Janine Beckie - 36'); Olivia Moultrie, Jessie Fleming (Olivia Wade-Katoa - 90' + 6'), Payton Linnehan (Christine Sinclair - 67'); Sophia Smith (Izzy D'Aquila - 90' + 6').

Subs Not Used: Emi Alvarado, Meagham Nally, Ana Dias, Izzy D'Aquila, Marissa Sheva.


NCC: 0

POR: 1

NCC: -

POR: S. Smith - 79' (PK).


NCC: R. Williams - 26', D. O'Sullivan - 66', R. Williams - 78', N. Miura 90' +13'.

POR: S. Smith - 90', S. Smith - 90' +11'.


NCC: R. Williams - 78' (Second yellow).

POR: S. Smith - 90' +11' (Second yellow).

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