BOYDS, MD. – A 3-2 win over the Washington Spirit clinched a playoff spot for the North Carolina Courage (14W-0D-5L, 42 pts, 1st place) at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Wednesday.
Falling behind 1-0 early on, the Courage eventually pulled out the one-goal victory thanks to two goals from Jessica McDonald and a single from Samantha Mewis.
Markers from Estefania Banini and Cheyna Williams pushed North Carolina to keep pressing throughout the match.
McDonald finished plays in the 61st and 66th minutes and put the Courage ahead 3-1, enough to hold off the Spirit who managed to pull within one in the 73rd minute.
NC Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland made two saves on four shots that made it through, while Spirit keeper Didi Haracic kept busy facing 21 shots and making four saves.
WAS: Didi Haracic; Alyssa Kleiner, Estelle Johnson © (Shelina Zadorsky, 52’) , Whitney Church, Caprice Dydasco; Tori Huster; Cali Farquharson (Francisca Ordega, 59’), Estefania Banini, M. Dougherty Howard, Mallory Pugh (Havana Solaun, 76’); Cheyna Williams – Subs not used: Kelsey Wys, Morgan Proffitt, Lindsay Agnew
NCC: Katelyn Rowland; Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Taylor Smith; McCall Zerboni, Sam Mewis, Denise O’Sullivan (Debinha,72’), Kristen Hamilton (Makenzy Doniak, 90’+); Lynn Williams, Jess McDonald (Ashley Hatch, 80’) – Subs not used: Caroline Stanley, Nora Holstad, Sam Witteman, Stephanie Ochs
Score: WAS: 2; NCC: 3
Goals: WAS: Estefania Banini (Unassisted, 8’), Cheyna Williams (Francisca Ordega, 73’); NCC: Sam Mewis (Abby Dahlkemper, 45’+), Jess McDonald (Jaelene Hinkle, 61’, Lynn Williams. 66’)
Cautions: NCC: –; WAS: Cali Farquharson (23’), Tori Hustler (45’+)
Ejections: NCC: –; WAS: —