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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Highlights from the Courage at Media Day
The Courage and Thorns will meet in the NWSL Championship on Oct. 14
Lynn Williams speaks at Media Day ahead of the 2017 NWSL Championship. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)
Lynn Williams speaks at Media Day ahead of the 2017 NWSL Championship. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

By Katelyn Best

Orlando, Florida — The North Carolina Courage spoke to the media Friday at Orlando City Stadium ahead of the NWSL Championship match against Portland Thorns FC (Saturday, Oct. 14 at 4:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime). Here are a few highlights of what they had to say:

On the chance to be the first team to win the NWSL Shield and the championship in the same year: Jessica McDonald

“To be able to make something happen for the first time in history would be absolutely amazing. It’d be epic. I think it’d just be a great feeling to show people it’s possible to do it.”

Lynn Williams

“I think it’d be huge, but we haven’t really thought about that as a team. I think that the Shield was really cool to win, but we didn’t talk about it all season. Now that’s behind us. I think a lot of times, teams win the Shield and they think their job is done… What we really want is the Championship tomorrow. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Sizing up Portland: McDonald

“I think we’re confident enough, just because we’ve been improving day in and day out. We’ve been improving so much as a team, and I believe everything will just come together coming into tomorrow. We know how to break them down, and they probably know how to break us down as well. It’s going to be a back-and-forth kind of thing. If we get a ball into the net first, early in the game, I think we’ll sit pretty comfortable.”

Williams

“They play a different style. They’re a very good back line, they’re very disciplined. They have a lot of key components… I think if we can get them turned and facing their goal, that’s going to be the most effective. If we play in front of them a lot, it’ll play into their game, and its going to be a lot easier for their defenders to defend. I’m confident, but at the same time, you know its going to be a hard team to beat.”

McCall Zerboni

“I definitely feel it’s probably one of the best competitions you’re going to see in the world. These are two great squads with a lot of talent, and a lot of dynamics to them, and a lot of strengths. Both sides don’t have many weaknesses. To kind of find those weaknesses and attack them is going to be difficult. I imagine it’s going to be a low-scoring game. It’s not easy to score goals in games like this.”

Abby Erceg

“I think, obviously, both teams have great defenses, I think it’s a tribute to the way we’ve done throughout the year… I think they have a lot of threats and it’s going to come down to which defense cracks first. Obviously, with Tobin Heath coming back as well, that brings another aspect to their attack that we have to look out for. They’re going to cause a lot of challenges, and it’s going to come down to whether we can concentrate for the full 90 minutes.”

On the “junkyard dogs” mentality: Williams

“I think that last year, we had an underdog mentality because we really, truly were the underdogs. Nobody expected us to be in the playoffs, let alone win. I think this year, we do have a bigger target on our backs, and we’ve obviously been on the top of the table since the beginning of the season… At the end of the day, yes, we aren’t ‘the underdogs,’ but we still have that mentality of, we really need to work to get where we need to go. We’ve got to grind it out. We’ve got to fight for everything. Even if its not pretty.”

Elizabeth Eddy

“A big part of our identity is that mentality of being underdogs. No matter what comes at you, find a way to solve it… It’s something our team has done a great job of—building that mentality and holding true to that, despite the tables and standings.”


Watch more highlights from Media Day as NWSL Media talked live with members of the Courage:

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