NFL, NBA, NHL stats



Courage, Red Stars Fight to 1-1 Draw in Season Opener

by Fran Stuchbury
April 15, 2019 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - North Carolina Courage

The National Women's Soccer League champion North Carolina Courage's home opener against the Chicago Red Stars ended with a 1-1 tie in front of 4,053 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park Saturday night. Prior to the game the North Carolina Courage had a ring presentation, celebrating the 2018 NWSL championship.

"It was a very good performance for us," said North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley. "We put on a lot of pressure. The quality of play was very good for the first game of the season. That is as good as a first game performance we ever had."

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored the first goal of the game with an assist from forward Yuki Nagasato. It was Kerr's 60th career NWSL goal. Kerr has seen action with the Western New York Flash in 2013-2014, Sky Blue FC from 2015-17 and has played with the Chicago Red Stars since 2018. Kerr has also played on the Australia women's national team since 2009.

"We did some work getting the ball back and played the ball straight to Yuki Nagasato," explained Kerr. "She's a gem and always puts everything on a platter. I just had to take my chances. Last year when I came here, I missed a one-on-one. Glad to finish it this year."

The Courage tied the game in the 60th minute with a goal from Crystal Dunn on an assist from Jessica McDonald. Dunn played with the Washington Spirit from 2014 until 2016 and has been a member of the Courage since the 2018 season. Dunn has also played for the United States National team since 2013.

"They weren't marking me," Dunn said about her goal. "I think they thought Jess was going to throw a long ball in. I was in some space and yelled to throw it to me. I had some time to turn and get a shot on goal.

"It was a typical NWSL game against Chicago; they have a lot of athleticism on their side... intense tough game, and they have Sam Kerr we always have to watch out for."

The Courage have returned most of their players from last season's championship.

"In preseason season we successfully set up wall with no problem it took us four months to do that last season," Courage coach Paul Riley stated. "We are really ahead in organization, and the new players have come in nicely."

The North Carolina Courage's next game will be at home Wednesday evening against the Orlando Pride.





Images from this story

North Carolina Courage home opener
North Carolina Courage home opener

(Fran Stuchbury)
North Carolina Courage pose at their home opener
North Carolina Courage pose at their home opener

(Fran Stuchbury)
North Carolina Courage vs. the Chicago Red Stars
North Carolina Courage vs. the Chicago Red Stars

(Fran Stuchbury)

• Discuss this story on the National Women's Soccer League message board...

National Women's Soccer League Stories from April 15, 2019


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.