NC Courage Wins NWSL Shield, Regular Season Title Clinched
It’s official. The NC Courage have won the 2017 NWSL regular season with a 4-0 win over the Houston Dash!
The NC Courage (16W-1D-6L, 49 pts, 1st place) won the 2017 NWSL regular season after a 4-0 win over the Houston Dash (7W-2D-14L, 23 pts, 8th place) in Edinburg, Texas tonight. The team earned its record-breaking 12th shutout of the year to clinch the NWSL Shield in the NC Courage’s inaugural season with goals from Sam Mewis, Lynn Williams, Debinha and Rookie Ashley Hatch.
An early opportunity in the ninth minute from the Houston Dash lead to goalkeeper heroics when Amber Brooks played a dangerous free-kick into the Courage box. Sabrina D’Angelo boldly came off her line to disrupt Sarah Hagen’s attempt at a header on goal.
Despite Houston’s early chance, it was the Courage who found the first goal thanks to quick thinking on a free kick. Abby Dahlkemper took the Houston defense by surprise as she played a short ball to Mewis, who took her space and buried a low shot past rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell to put the visitors up by one.
In the 20th minute, Abby Erceg nearly found the goal as she rocketed a shot off the crossbar. The NC Courage continued to dominate as Williams netted the second goal of the night. The 2016 Golden Boot winner beat three defenders before slotting a ball by Campbell in the 38th minute of play to send the Courage into the locker room with a two-goal lead and confidence.
At the start of the first half in the 51st minute, Mewis played a dangerous pass towards the top of the box where Williams flicked it on to Debinha. The Brazilian managed to calmly take a touch and fire a shot to beat Campbell and increase the Courage’s lead to three.
Just five minutes later, the NC Courage tallied its fourth goal of the night. Hatch got her seventh of the year after she ran onto a ball from Debinha and confidently found the back of the net in the 56th minute.
With the Courage’s 4-0 win, the team locked in the number one seed in the NWSL playoffs and will host a to-be-determined opponent on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET in the semi-final playoff match.
Before that match, the Courage will conclude the regular season at home against the Orlando Pride on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Five changes were made to the NC Courage starting XI from Sunday’s match at Sky Blue including a goalkeeper change
- Mewis scored her sixth goal of the season, Williams and Hatch netted their seventh each, and Debinha scored her fourth
- Nora Holstad made her NC Courage debut when she entered the game in the 64th minute for McCall Zerboni
- Sabrina D’Angelo posted her fourth shutout of the year, increasing the team total to 12 shutouts this season (most in the history of the NWSL)
Source: NC Courage Release