NFL, MLB, CFL stats



Courage Wrap Challenge Cup with Scoreless Draw vs. Orlando

by Fran Stuchbury
May 3, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - North Carolina Courage


North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride
(North Carolina Courage, Credit: Fran Stuchbury)

The North Carolina Courage played to a scoreless 0-0 draw against the Orlando Pride in the final match of the NWSL Challenge Cup group stage Saturday night at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

It was the third straight draw between the clubs, dating back to both meetings in the 2020 NWSL Fall Series.

"I told the broadcast folks yesterday that it was going to be a goal-fest, and boy I was completely wrong on that one," North Carolina Courage Head Coach Paul Riley said.

NWSL CBS Sports Network play by play announcer Jenn Hildreth agreed, saying "If you had told me these two teams would have played to a scoreless draw I would not have believed you." Hildreth is in her seventh season as play-by-play announcer for the NWSL.

Paul Riley added, "Two good teams went at it; the big thing to take away for me is the clean sheet. We worked hard and I was happy with the performance."

The Courage had 19 shots - three on goal in the game. The Pride totalled nine shots with two on goal.

"I think that this was our best game so far in the Challenge Cup," Courage forward Lynn Williams said. "I think we were defensively much more intact. We created a lot in terms of chances. It's a good performance to build off of."

For Courage defender Carson Pickett, the game was a reunion, having played for Orlando for two seasons in 2018 and 2019. The Courage acquired her in a trade on February 4, 2021 for the rights to forward Jodie Taylor.

"It was amazing playing in this game against my former teammates," said Pickett, "It's always nice in this league to see familiar faces and friends; that was awesome."

Pickett made huge game saving block in the 71st minute on a shot by Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan.

"For the goal line save in such a tight game, you need to get anything you can on the ball, especially with Alex Morgan taking the shot," said Pickett, "Honestly it was a last ditch effort."

Here are the highlights of the game:

The Courage finished in second place in the East Division in the NWSL Challenge cup going 2-1-1 for 7 points. First place in the East NJ/NY Gotham FC will play against the Portland Thorns at 1 pm EST on CBS.

North Courage will open up the regular season on May 15th on the road against OL Reign. The Courage home opener will be on Saturday, May 22nd against the Orlando Pride at 7 pm EST.




Images from this story

North Carolina Courage lineup vs. the Orlando Pride
North Carolina Courage lineup vs. the Orlando Pride

(Fran Stuchbury)
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride

(Fran Stuchbury)
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride scoreboard
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride scoreboard

(Fran Stuchbury)
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride
North Carolina Courage vs. the Orlando Pride

(Fran Stuchbury)
  

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

National Women's Soccer League Stories from May 3, 2021


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.

OurSports Central