The North Carolina Courage defeated the Seattle Reign FC, 1-0, in front of a crowd of 5,249 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina on August 5. The win improved the Courage to 6 wins and two losses at home this season and on overall record of 10-5-0. The Reign dropped to 6-4-6.
Lynn Williams scored the game-winner in the 32nd minute, bringing her season total to four goals.
The Tournament of Nations, which concluded on August 3, forced both head coaches to make decisions on playing time for participating players. The Reign elected to rest leading scorer Megan Rapinoe as well as Rumi Utsugi, while North Carolina started Abby Dahlkemper, Taylor Smith, Sam Mewis, and Lynn Williams.
Seattle’s Lauren Barnes and Christine Nairn became the first players in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) league to play in 100 league matches. Barnes is the first player to reach the 100-match mark with one team; Nairn, who played her first professional season with Seattle and then was later traded to the Washington Spirit, returned to Seattle this past offseason after a three-year stint with the Spirit.
Jess Fishlock made her return for Seattle after suffering a left knee injury on July 1 against the Portland Thorns.
Shane Lardinois was on the sidelines to capture all of the action.
Seattle’s Haley Kopmeyer punches the ball.
Close-up of the Courage’s Ashley Hatch falling.
Jaelene Hinkle and Merritt Mathias square off.
Sam Mewis’ nose has had a tough couple of weeks.
Seattle’s Rebekah Stott.
North Carolina Courage’s Katelyn Rowland.
Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey.
Katelyn Rowland out of her box, part two.
Katelyn Rowland out of her box, part one.
Battle of the smalls: Jess Fishlock and McCall Zerboni.
McCall Zerboni looks so peaceful while heading the ball. Merritt Mathias not so much.
Seattle Reign goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.
The Mother of All Dragons Jess Fishlock.
A study in vertical contrasts between Jess Fishlock and Sam Mewis.
North Carolina Courage huddle.
Seattle Reign FC huddle.
Seattle Reign backup goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel.
Seattle Reign’s Carson Pickett.
Whatcha doing, Denise O’Sullivan?
It’s a look, isn’t it? Courage head coach Paul Riley.
Kristen Hamilton and Abby Erceg enjoying a moment.
Seattle Reign’s Nahomi Kawasumi.
Kristen Hamilton (23), Katie Johnson (middle), and McCall Zerboni (right) vie for the ball. Muscles McCall.
Sam Mewis and Lindsay Elston in an air battle.
[Insert your own caption, please.] Who is hiding behind that wall though?