Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park | Cary, N.C.
Zerboni scored the first goal in club history to lead the Courage to their inaugural win in Week 1 and the veteran midfielder followed up that effort with another instrumental performance in Week 2 with a game-high seven tackles to help North Carolina earn a 1-0 home victory over the Portland Thorns.
Brazil international Debinha scored her first NWSL goal to give her new team the win and goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo needed to make just one save to record her second clean sheet of 2017 – and match her total for all of last year – as the Courage became the first club in NWSL history to start a season with back-to-back shutouts.
North Carolina have allowed just one shot on target in 180 minutes of play so far this year as they have turned in a dominant defensive display to start the season exemplified by Zerboni’s gritty show against the high-powered Thorns in Week 2.
Courage coach Paul Riley will be eager to see his backline maintain their strong start with Abby Dahlkemper continuing to make her presence felt with a game-high 82 touches and 53 total passes last week against Portland.
Brazil international Rosana and Ashley Hatch, the No. 2 overall selection at the 2017 NWSL College Draft, both made their NWSL debuts as second-half substitutes in Week 2 as the Courage look to incorporate their talented offseason acquisitions and Riley will hope to have all cylinders continuing to fire Saturday against the visiting Pride.
Orlando comes into the contest after salvaging a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit in Week 2 with rookie forward Danica Evans coming off the bench to score the game-tying goal in the 86th minute in her second professional appearance.
Tom Sermanni’s side were one of just two teams to rescue points from losing positions at the 85-minute mark last season – and he will be happy to have seen that resilience again this year, but the coach will also want to see the Pride snap a club-worst 10 game winless streak.
It is the fourth run of at least 10 games without a victory in the history of the league and three games shy of equaling the all-time mark set by the Spirit in 2013.