Heather O'Reilly Scores One of Six Goals in NC Courage Match Celebrating Her Career
Cary, NC - The North Carolina Courage defeated the Orlando Pride 6-1 in a night celebrating the accomplishments of Heather O'Reilly as the end of the season and her retirement nears. The Courage had goals from Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald, McKenzie Meehan, Debinha, and O'Reilly in front of a record-breaking crowd of 9,563 fans.
"This is about HAO tonight," said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. "I had a feeling it was going to be a good night. And, I think they [the team] did it for Heather and it doesn't matter who's playing right now it doesn't matter who's on the bench, doesn't matter who's up in the stands. The team all comes to play, they all want to get on the field and they are in a good rhythm at the moment and we played some great football tonight."
After scoring six goals against Portland on Wednesday, the North Carolina Courage scored in the 6th minute against the Orlando Pride tonight. Williams scored first, fresh off of Wednesday's hat trick. Kristen Hamilton sent in a perfectly placed ball that Williams was able to volley past a diving Ashlyn Harris.
Minutes later Kristen Hamilton was fouled in the box and earned a penalty kick. Defender Abby Dahlkemper stepped in to take the PK, but Harris guessed the correct direction and was able to make the save, preventing Orlando from going down 2-0 in the first 15 minutes of the game.
In the 37th minute, Edmonds of the Orlando Pride caught an unlucky bounce off her knee and the ball ended up in the back of the net for an own goal.
Just four minutes later, Jaelene Hinkle took the ball up the left flank and split two defenders before sending a ball across to Jessica McDonald. McDonald opened up and received the ball, one touching it into the net.
In the 78th minute, Meehan scored her first NWSL goal thanks to an assist from McDonald. McDonald took advantage of space and crossed a ball across the box to Meehan who made the sliding score.
The Orlando Pride got one back in the 82nd minute when Rachel Hill sent a long ball over the head Stephanie Labbé. Danica Evans had the assist on the goal.
O'Reilly scored on a night celebrating an amazing career in the 85th minute to send all 9,563 fans to their feet. The goal is O'Reilly's first goal in a Courage uniform in NWSL play.
Minutes later O'Reilly served a ball in to Debinha, tallying an assist on the night when the Brazilian scored the Courage's sixth and final goal on the evening.
The NC Courage will have a quick turnaround as they host the Houston Dash on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. in a match that will be nationally broadcast on ESPNNews. For tickets and information visit www.NCCourage.com or call the Coastal Credit Union Box Office at 919.459.8144.
With the win, the NC Courage increase their lead in the standings to 40 points, four clear of second-place Portland Thorns and a 12-4-4 record.
With a crowd of 9,563 people, the North Carolina Courage recorded their highest ever attendance number for a regular-season match.
Heather O'Reilly recorded her first goal in a Courage jersey during an NWSL match. She had previously scored the game-winner in the inaugural Women's ICC final against Olympique Lyon in 2018.
Lynn Williams scored one goal bringing her scoring total to four goals in the last two games and 11 goals on the season.
Jaelene Hinkle had her sixth assist of the season and is tied with Debinha for the most assists in the NWSL.
The NC Courage have scored 12 goals in their last two matches.
NCC (4-4-2): Stephanie Labbe'; Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Heather O'Reilly; Crystal Dunn (Cari Roccaro, 72'), Denise O'Sullivan, McCall Zerboni, Debinha; Lynn Williams (McKenzie Meehan, 65'), Kristen Hamilton (Jessica McDonald, 14')
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, Samantha Mewis, Merritt Mathias, Meredith Speck
ORL (4-3-3): Ashlyn Harris ©; Erin Greening, Ali Krieger, Shelina Zadorsky, Kristen Edmonds; Alanna Kennedy, Marisa Viggiano (Bridget Callahan, 81'), Dani Weatherholt; Claire Emslie (Camila, 68'), Danica Evans, Abby Elinski (Rachel Hill, 68')
Subs not used: Haley Kopmeyer, Joanna Boyles, Julie King, Morgan Reid
NCC: Lynn Williams (Kristen Hamilton, 6'), Own Goal (Kristen Edmonds, 37'), Jessica McDonald (Jaelene Hinkle, 41'), McKenzie Meehan (Jessica McDonald, 78') Heather O'Reilly (McCall Zerboni, 85'), Debinha (Heather O'Reilly, 90+1')
ORL: Rachel Hill (Danica Evans, 82')
ORL: Erin Greening 11', Abby Elinski 28', Alanna Kennedy 28'
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National Women's Soccer League Stories from September 14, 2019
- Heather O'Reilly Scores One of Six Goals in NC Courage Match Celebrating Her Career - North Carolina Courage
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