North Carolina Courage NC

16‑7‑1 , 9‑3‑0 Home

1
Final
Sun, Oct 8

Chicago Red StarsCHI

11‑7‑6 , 4‑4‑4 Away

0

Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

Cary, North Carolina

Attendance: 10,017

Courage advance to NWSL Championship with 1-0 win over Red Stars

North Carolina will face Portland on October 14 at Orlando City Stadium

Courage forward Denise O'Sullivan celebrates her 90th-minute game-winning goal to send North Carolina to the NWSL Championship. (Photo credit: Andy Mead: isiphotos.com)

Cary, N.C. — The North Carolina Courage are headed to the NWSL Championship after beating the Chicago Red Stars 1-0 thanks to a late game-winning goal by Denise O’Sullivan. They’ll face Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL Championship on October 14 at Orlando City Stadium.

O’Sullivan scored in the 89th minute for the Courage, a deflected shot off the shin of Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz and past Alyssa Naeher for the game-winning goal.

The goal came off a Courage corner kick, something North Carolina has excelled at this season. Sam Mewis‘ initial service was won in the air and headed away from the goal by her teammate Jess McDonald, but O’Sullivan was looming at the top of the 18, and hammered it back towards the goal. McDonald had just entered the match six minutes earlier.

“The first thing on my mind was, ‘I want to score this.’ It bounced it front of me and I just hit it as hard as I could. To be honest I didn’t think I could score from the edge of the box or even make it that far,” O’Sullivan said after the game. “I didn’t think I could actually hit a ball that hard to be honest.”

The ball went through Ertz’s legs and bounced off her shin redirecting just enough to beat Naeher. “Which is unfortunate because [Ertz has] had a great year for us,” Red Stars coach Rory Dames said of the play. “I was a bit surprised she wasn’t one of finalists for the MVPs of the league because she’s been that good for us this year.”

The Courage took nine corner kicks in the match compared to the Red Stars one.

They’ve been great on set pieces all season. That’s where they score a lot of their goals,” Naeher told Julie Foudy on Lifetime after the game. “They’re disciplined. They’ve got a lot of great ball winners. So we put some time into this week in preparation for it. They just kept coming and they snuck one right in at the end.”

O’Sullivan joined the Courage in the middle of the season after being waived by the Dash. Sunday’s game was just her 8th with North Carolina and her first goal with her new team.

“Playing in the American league is something I’ve always wanted to do and the league is great so I wanted to stay here,” O’Sullivan said. “The minute he phoned me and said there’s an option for me in the midfield to play there. … I went a few days later, so here I am.”

The Red Stars had a chance to tie things at the end of the game. In stoppage time, Naeher came into the offensive half of the field to take a free kick, which she sent into the box as Chicago pushed everyone forward. In a bit of chaos in front of the goal, her service bounced over Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, but was headed off the line and out of danger by Mewis.

“Sam just stepped up. Everyone wanted to kiss her forehead,” Courage defender Taylor Smith said. “It just shows everyone is willing to put their body on the line and it’s a great mentality to have.”

The whistle blew moments later and the Courage escaped with their 13th shutout of the season and yet another 1-0 win. It’s the eighth time North Carolina has won by that scoreline. They allowed just one shot on goal to the Red Stars in the game.

“I think it just shows how relentless we are. Every game we think of ourselves as underdogs. We don’t even think about past results. We think about how we can get better. How we can improve and we plan to carry that on to next week,” Smith said.

It’s the third straight semifinal loss for the Red Stars, who fell last year in extra time to the Spirit and the year before to FC Kansas City.

Rory just said we gotta take it to the next level,” Red Stars defender Casey Short said. “We didn’t keep it enough. That’s a new gear that we need to have for next season.”

Prior to the late goal, North Carolina’s best opportunity came at the end of the first half on a corner kick, but Red Stars defender Katie Naughton cleared Abby Erceg’s shot off the goal line.

 

The Red Stars had a few good second half chances thanks to forward Christen Press, but could not convert vs. the league’s second-best defense. 

In the 61st minute, Arin Gilliland sent a cross into the box towards Press, but Smith shielded Press enough that she couldn’t get onto the end of it and, despite a brief bobble, Rowland collected it. Rowland also beat Press to the ball after second half sub Yuki Nagasato sent a through ball that sprung Press behind the Courage backline.

Courage midfielder Debinha was injured in the eighth minute after landing badly on her left arm. She suffered a dislocated elbow and had her arm in a sling after the match.

The crowd of 10,017 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park is an attendance record for their first season in North Carolina. It’s the first-ever playoff game for the Courage after winning the championship last year as the Western New York Flash before relocating to North Carolina.

The Courage will be looking to become the first NWSL Shield winners to ever win an NWSL Championship. They’ll face Portland Thorns FC on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

 


North Carolina Courage

99

Katelyn Rowland

Goalkeeper
15

Jaelene Hinkle

Defender
6

Abby Erceg

Defender
13

Abby Dahlkemper

Defender
11

Taylor Smith

Defender
5

Samantha Mewis

Defensive Midfielder
8

Denise O'Sullivan

Midfielder
  89'
7

McCall Zerboni

Midfielder
10

Débora Cristiane de Oliveira

Attacking Midfielder
  10'
12

Ashley Hatch

Forward
  83'
9

Lynn Williams

Forward

substitutes

3

Makenzy Doniak

Substitute
1

Sabrina D’Angelo

Substitute
23

Kristen Hamilton

Substitute
  10'
2

Nora Holstad Berge

Substitute
14

Jessica McDonald

Substitute
  83'
25

Meredith Speck

Substitute
26

Sam Witteman

Substitute

manager

 

Paul Riley

Manager

Chicago Red Stars

1

Alyssa Naeher

Goalkeeper
6

Casey Short

Defender
16

Samantha Johnson

Defender
  90 + 1'
5

Kathleen Naughton

Defender
3

Arin Gilliland

Defender
24

Danielle Colaprico

Defensive Midfielder
  36'   90 + 1'
8

Julie Ertz

Defensive Midfielder
11

Sofia Huerta

Defensive Midfielder
10

Vanessa DiBernardo

Attacking Midfielder
2

Jennifer Hoy

Forward
  57'
23

Christen Press

Forward

substitutes

7

Taylor Comeau

Substitute
18

Michele Dalton

Substitute
14

Sarah Gorden

Substitute
19

Summer Green

Substitute
4

Alyssa Mautz

Substitute
  90 + 1'
9

Stephanie McCaffrey

Substitute
  90 + 1'
12

Yuki Nagasato

Substitute
  57'

manager

 

Rory Dames

Manager

END 14

Match ends, North Carolina Courage 1, Chicago Red Stars 0.

90'+4'

END 2

Second Half ends, North Carolina Courage 1, Chicago Red Stars 0.

90'+3'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Jaelene Hinkle (North Carolina Courage).

90'+3'

FREE KICK WON

Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+1'

OFFSIDE

Offside, Chicago Red Stars. Vanessa Di Bernardo tries a through ball, but Alyssa Mautz is caught offside.

90'+1'

SUBSTITUTION

Substitution, Chicago Red Stars. Stephanie McCaffrey replaces Samantha Johnson.

90'+1'

SUBSTITUTION

Substitution, Chicago Red Stars. Alyssa Mautz replaces Danielle Colaprico.

89'

GOAL

Goal! North Carolina Courage 1, Chicago Red Stars 0. Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jessica McDonald following a corner.

89'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Julie Ertz.

89'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

88'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Julie Ertz.

87'

MISS

Attempt missed. Taylor Smith (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by McCall Zerboni.

84'

MISS

Attempt missed. Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Samantha Mewis with a headed pass.

83'

SUBSTITUTION

Substitution, North Carolina Courage. Jessica McDonald replaces Ashley Hatch.

81'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).

81'

FREE KICK WON

Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Yuki Nagasato with a cross.

76'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage).

76'

FREE KICK WON

Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick on the left wing.

73'

MISS

Attempt missed. Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Sofia Huerta with a cross.

71'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jaelene Hinkle.

70'

FREE KICK LOST

Hand ball by Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).

69'

ATTEMPT SAVED

Attempt saved. Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jaelene Hinkle with a cross.

68'

FREE KICK WON

Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars).

67'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage).

67'

FREE KICK WON

Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Arin Gilliland.

60'

OFFSIDE

Offside, North Carolina Courage. Kristen Hamilton tries a through ball, but Samantha Mewis is caught offside.

60'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Katie Naughton.

59'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

59'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by McCall Zerboni.

59'

ATTEMPT SAVED

Attempt saved. Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Samantha Mewis.

57'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Casey Short.

57'

SUBSTITUTION

Substitution, Chicago Red Stars. Yuki Nagasato replaces Jennifer Hoy.

56'

FREE KICK WON

Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars).

54'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).

54'

FREE KICK WON

Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by McCall Zerboni.

53'

FREE KICK WON

Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

53'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars).

51'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage).

51'

FREE KICK WON

Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick on the left wing.

50'

MISS

Attempt missed. Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

49'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage).

49'

FREE KICK WON

Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

START

Second Half begins North Carolina Courage 0, Chicago Red Stars 0.

45'+3'

END 1

First Half ends, North Carolina Courage 0, Chicago Red Stars 0.

45'+3'

MISS

Attempt missed. Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Abby Dahlkemper with a cross following a corner.

45'+2'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Casey Short.

45'+1'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Samantha Mewis with a cross.

45'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Arin Gilliland.

44'

ATTEMPT SAVED

Attempt saved. McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lynn Williams.

44'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Denise O'Sullivan.

43'

MISS

Attempt missed. Jaelene Hinkle (North Carolina Courage) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

42'

FREE KICK WON

Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Samantha Johnson (Chicago Red Stars).

41'

ATTEMPT SAVED

Attempt saved. Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sofia Huerta.

36'

YELLOW CARD

Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

36'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars).

36'

FREE KICK WON

Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Casey Short.

33'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars).

33'

FREE KICK WON

Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sofia Huerta.

31'

MISS

Attempt missed. Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Abby Dahlkemper with a cross following a set piece situation.

31'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars).

31'

FREE KICK WON

Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

26'

END DELAY

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

25'

START DELAY

Delay in match Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) because of an injury.

24'

OFFSIDE

Offside, Chicago Red Stars. Julie Ertz tries a through ball, but Vanessa Di Bernardo is caught offside.

22'

FREE KICK WON

Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Jaelene Hinkle (North Carolina Courage).

21'

FREE KICK WON

Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage).

20'

OFFSIDE

Offside, Chicago Red Stars. Christen Press tries a through ball, but Jennifer Hoy is caught offside.

18'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage).

18'

FREE KICK WON

Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars).

15'

FREE KICK WON

Ashley Hatch (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick on the right wing.

11'

MISS

Attempt missed. Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jaelene Hinkle with a cross following a set piece situation.

11'

FREE KICK LOST

Foul by Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars).

11'

FREE KICK WON

Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10'

SUBSTITUTION

Substitution, North Carolina Courage. Kristen Hamilton replaces Debinha because of an injury.

9'

END DELAY

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

8'

START DELAY

Delay in match Debinha (North Carolina Courage) because of an injury.

7'

CORNER

Corner, North Carolina Courage. Conceded by Casey Short.

3'

MISS

Attempt missed. Jennifer Hoy (Chicago Red Stars) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Julie Ertz following a corner.

3'

ATTEMPT BLOCKED

Attempt blocked. Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Vanessa Di Bernardo with a cross.

2'

CORNER

Corner, Chicago Red Stars. Conceded by Abby Erceg.

START

First Half begins.

 

LINEUP

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

NC
KO HT FT 90+
10
Kristen Hamilton 23
Débora Cristiane de Oliveira 10
57
Yuki Nagasato 12
Jennifer Hoy 2
83
Jessica McDonald 14
Ashley Hatch 12
90 +1
Alyssa Mautz 4
Danielle Colaprico 24
90 +1
Stephanie McCaffrey 9
Samantha Johnson 16
89
goal

Denise O'Sullivan 8

Assisted by: Jessica McDonald 14

36
yellow card

Danielle Colaprico 24

CHI

Goals & Assists

89′ North Carolina Courage
Denise O'Sullivan
Assisted by: Jessica McDonald

Disciplinary

36′ Chicago Red Stars
Danielle Colaprico

Substitutions

10′ North Carolina Courage
  Kristen Hamilton
  Débora Cristiane de Oliveira
57′ Chicago Red Stars
  Yuki Nagasato
  Jennifer Hoy
83′ North Carolina Courage
  Jessica McDonald
  Ashley Hatch
90 + 1′ Chicago Red Stars
  Alyssa Mautz
  Danielle Colaprico
90 + 1′ Chicago Red Stars
  Stephanie McCaffrey
  Samantha Johnson


NC

Match Statistics


CHI

19
Shots
6
5
Shots On Goal
1
7
Shots Blocked
3
9
Corners
1
28
Crosses
12
1
Offsides
3
9
Fouls
10
0
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
361
Total Passes
325
63.2%
Passing Accuracy
59.1%
53.8%
Possession
46.2%
65
Duels Won
56
18
Tackles Won
17
1
Saves
3
17
Clearances
35

Player Statistics

  • #
  • p
  • player
  • MINS
  • G
  • A
  • S
  • SOG
  • CK
  • OFF
  • FC
  • FS
15 D Jaelene Hinkle 90 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0
6 D Abby Erceg 90 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0
13 D Abby Dahlkemper 90 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0
11 D Taylor Smith 90 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
5 DM Samantha Mewis 90 0 0 3 3 4 1 2 2
8 M Denise O'Sullivan 90 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 1
7 M McCall Zerboni 90 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0
10 AM Débora Cristiane de Oliveira 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 F Ashley Hatch 83 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 4
9 F Lynn Williams 90 0 0 5 5 0 0 2 0
3 S Makenzy Doniak 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 S Sabrina D’Angelo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23 S Kristen Hamilton 80 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2
2 S Nora Holstad Berge 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 S Jessica McDonald 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 S Meredith Speck 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 S Sam Witteman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Goalkeepers

  • #
  • p
  • player
  • MINS
  • GA
  • SF
  • SV
  • PF
  • PS
  • FC
  • FS
99 G Katelyn Rowland 90 0 6 1 0 0 0 0
6 D Casey Short 90 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
16 D Samantha Johnson 89 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
5 D Kathleen Naughton 90 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 D Arin Gilliland 90 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
24 DM Danielle Colaprico 89 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
8 DM Julie Ertz 90 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 1
11 DM Sofia Huerta 90 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
10 AM Vanessa DiBernardo 90 0 0 2 2 1 1 0 2
2 F Jennifer Hoy 57 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0
23 F Christen Press 90 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 2
7 S Taylor Comeau 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
18 S Michele Dalton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 S Sarah Gorden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 S Summer Green 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 S Alyssa Mautz 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
9 S Stephanie McCaffrey 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 S Yuki Nagasato 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Goalkeepers

  • #
  • p
  • player
  • MINS
  • GA
  • SF
  • SV
  • PF
  • PS
  • FC
  • FS
1 G Alyssa Naeher 90 1 19 3 0 0 1 1