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 North Carolina Courage

Preview of Courage vs Utah Royals

May 16, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
North Carolina Courage News Release

CARY, N.C. - The North Carolina Courage return to WakeMed Soccer Park this Friday, May 17, to host Utah Royals FC at 8 p.m. ET. The match will be the Courage's debut on Prime Video with Mike Watts and Lori Lindsey on the call.

The Courage look to snap a three-match losing streak after a tough road swing that saw them visit the two remaining undefeated teams in the NWSL and the defending champions in three consecutive away fixtures. Overall, the Courage enter the weekend in sixth place in the NWSL table with a 4-5-0 record for 12 points and a +1-goal differential.

The Courage are unbeaten in 13 straight home regular season fixtures with eight wins and five draws, including a perfect 4-0-0 home start to 2024. They haven't lost at WakeMed Soccer Park in over a year and, on the heels of a top-5 crowd in club history, look for the home-field advantage to help get back on track.

North Carolina fell in the first meeting with the Royals, 2-1, in Utah despite dominating every statistic but the score line. First-overall draft pick, and former UNC Tar Heel, Ally Sentnor scored what would prove to be the winner. She is set to return to the Triangle for the first time as a professional this weekend.

Utah sits at the bottom of the table with a 1-7-1 record for four points and a -12-goal differential. They too are looking to snap a three-match losing streak this weekend. Utah is tied for the fewest goals scored with six while conceding 18, which is second-most. Like North Carolina, Utah likes to have the ball as they rank third in the NWSL with 53.3% possession. The Courage lead the league with 58.7% possession.

The 20-year-old Sentnor spearheads the attack, leading the team with a pair of goals and two assists while taking the most shots (25), putting the most on target (12), and creating the most chances (17) by any Utah player. Veteran Kate Del Fava and 20th overall draft pick Olivia Griffitts have been the defense's focal points, ranking within the top ten across the league in interceptions.

North Carolina aims to get back to the results they enjoyed early in the season. While they will finally have their home field again, some bumps and bruises picked up during the road swing may come into play and test the team's depth and adaptability. The friendly crowd should be a huge boost in the team's lone home fixture of the month.

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