NC Courage Defeat Orlando Pride 4-0 in Third Preseason Win of the Week
CARY, N.C. - The North Carolina Courage kicked off the Friendship Cup against the Orlando Pride today with a 4-0 win. The win marked the third victory of the week for the Courage and kept the side undefeated this preseason. The win was a team effort with goals from Meredith Speck, Jessica McDonald, Lynn Williams, and Julia Spetsmark.
The first chance of the game came in the 29th minute on a counter attack led by Speck. She found the ball at her feet after an Orlando corner kick and played a long ball ahead. McDonald barely beat Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to the ball, but Harris deflected the ball just enough to send it off its path.
Speck made an impact just minutes later in the 35th minute when she netted a ball that was bouncing in the box after a failed clearance. Speck's goal was a first half turning point as the Courage pressured in front of Orlando's goal for the rest of the half.
McDonald doubled the lead in the 61st minute off an assist from Williams. Harris left her line to chase a loose ball in the box, but after misjudging her jump, Williams slipped the ball past Harris to McDonald who easily fired the ball into the open net.
Minutes later, Williams scored to make it 3-0, finishing off an assist from Leah Pruitt. Williams received the ball from Pruitt on the edge of the six-yard box. Despite an oncoming defender flying in for a challenge, Williams slotted the ball past Harris for another goal.
In the closing stages of the match, Spetsmark scored the fourth goal, finishing off a through ball from Elizabeth Eddy to put an exclamation point on the emphatic preseason win.
Up Next: The North Carolina Courage have two more preseason games at WakeMed Soccer Park on March 30 versus South Carolina and April 6 against Virginia. They will play the Chicago Red Stars in the regular season home opener on April 13 at 7:00 p.m.
NCC (4-4-2 Box): Stephanie Labbé (Katelyn Rowland, 46'); Meredith Speck (Hailey Harbison, 46'), Abby Erceg (Kaleigh Kurtz,, 76'), Abby Dahlkemper (Ally Haran, 76'), Merritt Mathias (Shannon Horgan, 76'); Kristen Hamilton (McCall Zerboni, 46'), Denise O'Sullivan (Lauren Milliet, 76'), Samantha Mewis (Cari Roccaro, 62'), Crystal Dunn (Liz Eddy, 62'); Lynn Williams (Julia Spetsmark, 76'), Jessica McDonald (Leah Pruitt, 62')
Subs not used: Ryan Williams, Heather O'Reilly, Peyton Perea, Julie King, Adelaide Gay
ORL (4-3-3): Ashlyn Harris (Lainey Burdett, 77'), Ali Krieger (Abby Elinsky,81'); Tony Pressley, Shelina Zadorsky (Erin Greening,74'), Carson Pickett (Dani Weatherholt, 46'); Alanna Kennedy (Joanna Boyles,, 81'), Emily Van England (Bridget Callahan, 74', Marta (Marisa Viggiano, 74'); Chioma Ubogagu (Camila, 81'), Alex Morgan (Danica Evans, 81'), Rachel Hill (Caitlin Farrell, 74')
NCC: Meredith Speck (Unassisted, 35'), Jessica McDonald (Lynn Williams, 61'), Lynn Williams (Leah Pruitt, 69'), Julia Spetsmark (Liz Eddy, 89')
ORL: Alex Morgan, 45+'
Shots on Goal:
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National Women's Soccer League Stories from March 23, 2019
- Sky Blue FC Continues Preseason with Match against West Virginia University - Sky Blue FC
- NC Courage Defeat Orlando Pride 4-0 in Third Preseason Win of the Week - North Carolina Courage
- Orlando Pride Open Preseason Play at North Carolina Courage - Orlando Pride
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