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Courage get win No. 13, 2-0 over Spirit
Ashley Hatch scored her fifth of the season
The North Carolina Courage won their 13th game of the season, a 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)
The North Carolina Courage won their 13th game of the season, a 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

The North Carolina Courage won their 13th game of the season on Saturday, a 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit in front of a home crowd of 3,530 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

 

With the win, the Courage improve to 13-5-0, with 39 points on the season. It’s the fourth straight win for the Courage. The Spirit fall to 4-10-4 with 16 points.

 

 

 

After a scoreless first half, rookie forward Ashley Hatch scored her fifth goal of the season just seconds into the second half. Courage forward Denise O’Sullivan, newly signed and making her first start for the Courage, found Kristen Hamilton open on the right wing. Hamilton served a low cross into the center of the area. Defender Alyssa Kleiner, who had just entered the match as a substitute for the start of the second half, miscleared the ball and it fell to Hatch, who hit it past Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé to make it 1-0.

 

In the 84th minute, the Courage scored their second goal of the game on a very unfortunate Spirit own goal. Midfielder Sam Mewis sent a high corner kick into the box. Labbé jumped for it, but didn’t get a hand on it. Spirit forward Cali Farquharson tried to head it out of danger, but her header went off the face of her teammate Kassey Kallman and redirected into the back of the net to put the Courage up 2-0.

 

 

The Spirit nearly got on the board in the 93rd minute when Washington forward Mallory Pugh sent a high cross into the box. As Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland came out to make a play on it, Cheyna Williams headed it over Rowland and towards the empty net, but her shot bounced off the post.

 

Rowland made three saves to earn the shutout, her seventh clean sheet of the season. Ten of North Carolina’s 13 wins have come via shutout this season.

 

Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni made her 100th NWSL appearance, becoming the fourth NWSL player to achieve the feat.

 

The Courage have only conceded one goal in their last four games. They’ll next face the Dash on the road in Houston on Sunday.

 

“As we get closer and closer to the end, we’re thinking about those one-and-done games, like the playoffs. We want to practice keeping no goals against and doing all the right things in between. As the season progresses we want to keep doing those right things,” Zerboni told Dalen Cuff on Lifetime after the game. “It’s really hard to break us down. It’s really hard to beat us. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

On Saturday morning, the Spirit announced that midfielder Kristie Mewis was not available for the game vs. the Courage due to a pending trade. The team said additional details would be available after the conclusion of the trade.

The Spirit will next host the Red Stars on Saturday.

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