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Match Preview: Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC

September 23, 2022 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - North Carolina Courage News Release


North Carolina Courage forward Rikke Madsen
North Carolina Courage forward Rikke Madsen
(North Carolina Courage, Credit: Lewis Gettier / NC Courage)

CARY, N.C. - The North Carolina Courage wrap up their home regular season Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7:00 p.m. ET against NJ/NY Gotham FC at WakeMed Soccer Park. With two matches remaining in the regular season, the Courage are in contention for a playoff spot having won six of their last eight matches.

Last Time Out

For the third consecutive time after a loss, the Courage responded with a shutout win. This time a 3-0 result at the Orlando Pride on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Exploria Stadium. Debinha recorded her second brace of the season and dished an assist to lead the offensive attack. She capitalized on an errant header by a Pride defender in the second minute to put the Courage ahead, the quickest goal scored by NCC this season and North Carolina dominated with 60% possession and an 85% passing accuracy in the lopsided victory.

Scouting Gotham

It's been a long year for the last-place Gotham side that has been outscored 40-13 this season. Eliminated from playoff contention, Gotham started strong with three wins in their first five matches but have won just once in their last 15 matches and 11 in a row, not earning a point since July 8. Paige Monahan and Midge Purce each have a team-high three goals while Purce is one of four players with a pair of assists.

Notables

Debinha's 2' goal was the seventh scored by the Courage in the first 10 minutes of a match by the Courage this season; the team has now scored 19 of their 43 goals in the opening 15 minutes of either half.

The Courage pushed their match-scoring streak to 12 straight, extending the longest active streak in the NWSL

43 goals and 30 assists are both the high marks in the NWSL and the team also leads the league in passes (9,231) and passing accuracy (79.9%)

The Courage won the first meeting of the season, 1-0, at Gotham in a rescheduled match during the international window, so neither team was at full strength

Players to Watch, presented by JubliaRX.com

North Carolina Courage - #18 Fuka

Head coach Sean Nahas sang the praises of Fuka after the team's win in Orlando Wednesday night, remarking "Fuka is an unbelievable soccer player... I haven't seen someone have the work rate that she has.". She's passing with an 82% accuracy, including an incredible 57% on long passes. The 23-year-old has won 70% of her tackles and contributed a pair of goals despite joining the roster midway through the season.

NJ/NY Gotham FC - #23 Midge Purce

A reigning NWSL MVP finalist and member of the league's Best XI a year ago, Purce remains one of the most electric players on any field she plays. Her National Team experience and NWSL success have made her a household name and despite the overall team performance this year, she forces opposing defenses to always take note of her location during a match. She's Gotham's points leader for the second straight year and comes to Cary looking to add to her totals and help the visitor play the role of spoiler.

Up Next: The Courage finish the regular season on the road against the San Diego Wave at the brand-new SnapDragon Stadium on Friday, Sept. 30, with a 10:00 p.m. ET kickoff on the west coast. Visit www.nccourage.com and follow @TheNCCourage on social media throughout the week for post-season scenarios and updates.





Images from this story

North Carolina Courage forward Rikke Madsen
North Carolina Courage forward Rikke Madsen

(Lewis Gettier / NC Courage)
  

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National Women's Soccer League Stories from September 23, 2022


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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