Courage score late to salvage 1-1 draw with the Reign
Late drama in Seattle

The North Carolina Courage scored in the game’s final moments to tie Seattle Reign FC 1-1 on the road on Saturday afternoon.

Lynn Williams’ goal following a mad scramble in the box improves the Courage to 16-1-6 on the season. They now have 54 points, which ties the league record set by Seattle Reign FC in 2014. It was the final road game of the regular season for the Courage, and they finish unbeaten on the road (8-0-4). The Reign could’ve clinched the No. 2 seed with a win, but will now have to wait for the rest of the day’s results to see if they can clinch that spot. They are now 11-4-8 (41 points).

The game-tying goal came in the 95th minute. On a Courage corner kick deep in stoppage time, Kristen Hamilton’s header was saved by Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Sam Mewis’ follow-up header was blocked by Lauren Barnes. Then it was McCall Zerboni’s turn, but her shot was blocked by Jess Fishlock. The ball bounced into the path of Lynn Williams, with Elizabeth Addo on the ground making the first stop, but Williams persisted and hit it off the post and over the line.

Williams now has 12 goals on the season, tied for the league lead.

The Courage were awarded the corner kick after a Mewis header went over the bar, but was ruled pushed out for a corner.

Minutes earlier, with the Reign holding a 1-0 lead, a cross from Addo hit the hand of Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper in the box, but no penalty was called by referee Ramy Touchan.

After a scoreless first half, Seattle took the lead on a goal by Jodie Taylor, her 10th of the season.

Taylor took a shot that looked to be going wide, but Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland dove for it and got a hand on it, pushing it out for a corner kick. Fishlock took the corner kick, sending it all the way across the field and just outside the penalty box. Reign defender Theresa Nielsen headed it back in and right in the mix. Taylor, as well as Rowland, went up for the ball, but it missed everyone and bounced into the net.

Nielsen also came up on the defensive end with a save off the line in the 88th minute on a header by Erceg.

Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams made 11 saves in the match, with many of her best coming vs. Jessica McDonald.

In the 27th minute, Williams pushed aside a point-blank header from McDonald.

She also made a stop on McDonald in the 14th minute.

Also, in the 59th minute, she stopped McDonald with a diving save — though Williams was ruled offside on the play.

The result kept both teams from setting an NWSL record. The Courage were searching for win No. 17, which would’ve been a new record for the NWSL — which would’ve surpassed record set by the 2014 Reign and 2016 Courage. And the Reign were one minute away from setting a new NWSL record with their 13th shutout — which would’ve broken the 2017 Courage’s record of 12.

Courage left back Jaelene Hinkle missed the game with a left ankle sprain, and Crystal Dunn started in her place at left back before moving into the midfield in the second half. Reign forward Megan Rapinoe was a late scratch with a rib injury.

The Reign will next be in action on September 7, on the road vs. Portland Thorns FC. The Courage host the Dash in the final game of the NWSL regular season on September 8.

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