Courage clinch home playoff game with 1-0 win over Dash
It’s the 15th win of the season for North Carolina
Courage forwards Kristen Hamilton and Lynn Williams celebrate a goal. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/
Courage forwards Kristen Hamilton and Lynn Williams celebrate a goal. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/

The North Carolina Courage clinched a home playoff game with a 1-0 win over the Houston Dash on Saturday night in front of home crowd of 4,702 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

North Carolina’s semifinal game will take place on Sunday, October 8. Their seeding is still to be determined. The Courage are currently in first place at 15-6-0 with 45 points, but the second-place Thorns still have a chance to overtake them at the top of the table. 

The Courage’s 15 wins are one shy of tying the record set by Seattle Reign FC in 2014. North Carolina also tied the NWSL record for shutouts in a season with their 11th of the season, equaling the mark set by FC Kansas City in 2013. Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowlands eight clean sheets are two behind Barnhart’s individual total from the same season, and one behind Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch for the league lead.

Rowland came up big in the 48th minute, stopping a shot from Dash forward Sarah Hagen.

North Carolina forward Kristen Hamilton scored the game’s only goal in the 26th minute, her third of the season. The play started with a long throw-in taken by Jess McDonald, which Abby Erceg then flicked to the foot of Hamilton for the goal. 

The Dash  (7-12-2, 23 points) had already been eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day because of the Red Stars draw with FC Kansas City.

It’s the seventh 1-0 win of the season for the Courage, who have allowed just 18 goals this season.

North Carolina had a few opportunities to double the lead, but Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell made fives in the match. Her best one came in the 71st minute, a quick save with her feet on a close effort by fellow rookie Ashley Hatch.


McDonald thought she had scored in the 32nd minute, but was ruled offside on the play.



The game took place on Breast Cancer Awareness night for the Courage. Sisters Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) and Sam Mewis (North Carolina Courage) were joined on the field by their mother Melissa, a breast cancer survivor, for the coin toss.


Both teams were missing starters who were suspended due to yellow card accumulation: McCall Zerboni for the Courage and Bruna Benites for the Dash.

The Courage will go for win No. 16 on September 24 when they visit Sky Blue FC. The Dash will next host the Red Stars on September 23.


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