Washington Spirit (2-10-4, 10 pts) at North Carolina Courage (12-1-3, 39 pts)
2018 NWSL Regular Season
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
Wednesday, July 11th – 7:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream | #NCvWAS
Boyds, MD (July 10, 2018) – The Washington Spirit stays on the road for the third straight game for a mid-week contest Wednesday night against NWSL table leaders North Carolina Courage.
Kickoff from Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina is set for 7 p.m. in the third and final meeting between the Spirit and Courage in 2018.
Washington plays its third game in 10 days on the road, falling 2-0 to the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, July 1. On Saturday, the Spirit fell to the Orlando Pride 2-1 after conceding a late goal in the 86th minute.
Forward Ashley Hatch tallied for the Spirit and broke the Washington scoreless drought on Saturday on a header off a corner kick. Hatch, who earned NWSL Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 with the Courage, took over the Spirit’s team lead in goals with her fourth goal of the 2018 season. [WATCH]
North Carolina meanwhile has maintained strong form as the team has in much of 2018. At 12-3-1, the Courage are winners of three straight games by a combined total of 11-2 against Chicago, Orlando, and Seattle.
The Courage last played on July 4 against Chicago, defeating the Red Stars 4-1 in Cary. Crystal Dunn, Lynn Williams, Debinha, and Kristen Hamilton each scored in the team’s dominant performance. The match also featured Heather O’Reilly make her debut for North Carolina.
In the first meeting between the Spirit and Courage, Washington fell to North Carolina 4-2 on April 14 at the Maryland SoccerPlex. After Mallory Pugh opened the contest’s scoring in the third minute, North Carolina answered with three unanswered goals. Francisca Ordega tallied in the 58th minute to bring the score within a goal, until the Courage scored in the 66th minute to bring the game to its final score of 4-2.
On May 12 in North Carolina, the Courage defeated the Spirit 1-0 behind a 63rd minute goal from Abby Erceg.
To dethrone the Courage, the Spirit will look to continue offensive success it created against Orlando. The team recorded 16 shots against the Pride including five on target. Potentially available for the Spirit will be Rose Lavelle and Havana Solaun who both came on as substitutes in the second half against Orlando.
Aubrey Bledsoe tied a season-high with 10 saves against the Pride. Bledsoe and the potential backline of Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson and Taylor Smith, a combination that has started the past three games together, will need to perform strong against the Courage. North Carolina leads all NWSL teams with 35 goals this season.
The Washington Spirit returns home on July 21 to the Maryland SoccerPlex to take on the Houston Dash. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. [TICKETS]