A Tale of an Own Goal: North Carolina Courage Defeats Orlando Pride in Goalfest

North Carolina Courage Defeats Orlando Pride
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ORLANDO, FLORIDA (May 23, 2018) — Ashlyn Harris is going to have a hard time sleeping these next couple of nights.

The goalkeeper bobbled a header from Samantha Mewis, which resulted in an own goal. The goal potentially cost Orlando a draw — and a chance to claim a victory over the undefeated North Carolina Courage.

However, North Carolina continues to remain undefeated after the narrow 4-3 win. The three points in the victory have brought the Courage to 26 points.

North Carolina Courage Defeats Orlando Pride in Wild Affair

North Carolina also had goals scored by Jessica McDonald and Debinha. McDonald scored two goals, one in the first half and in the second half.

Orlando kept pace with North Carolina for the whole match — even after the own goal. Chioma Ubogagu opened up Orlando’s scoring account in the 52nd minute. Only three minutes after the Harris own goal, Alanna Kennedy brought Orlando closer.

However, Rachel Hill’s final goal would not be enough. Despite Hill evening the match to 3-3, North Carolina took the lead with McDonald’s second goal at the end.

After the match, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said that his side “kept coming back into the game.”

“At times we saw the worst of Orlando Pride and then at times the best of Orlando Pride today,” Sermanni said. “We were lucky to be down 1-0 at halftime but, again, I think in the second half, our players showed a great deal of character. We came right back into the game.”

Three Takeaways

  1. A tale of two goalkeepers: Despite the own goal, Harris was having a decent night. The first-ever signing of the Pride made five big saves. However, the own goal cost her team a chance to dethrone the undefeated. Meanwhile, Katelyn Rowland earned another start with Sabrina D’Angelo sitting out with an injury. Rowland did not make a single save.
  2. Kristen Hamilton returns — but not for long: While Samantha Mewis was out with a knee injury, Kristen Hamilton was enjoying a successful run in the Courage midfield. However, injury kept her sidelined for a little over two weeks. Returning against Orlando, Hamilton only featured for a little more than 10 minutes. A former integral part of the midfield, Riley should give her more minutes.
  3. No catching North Carolina: I have said it every week now: nobody is going to catch the North Carolina Courage. Right now, the Courage has 26 points, which is 12 points ahead of second-place team Seattle Reign FC.

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