Courage top Reign 4-1 in Seattle
Crystal Dunn now has six goals on the season
The North Carolina Courage are now 10-1-3. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/
The North Carolina Courage are now 10-1-3. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/

Crystal Dunn scored twice as the Courage won 4-1 on the road over Seattle Reign FC and moved to 10-1-3 (33 points) on the season. The win for the Courage was a strong rebound performance after losing their first game of the season last week to Utah Royals FC.

Dunn now has six goals on the season, second only to Christine Sinclair‘s seven for first in the NWSL. Lynn Williams added a goal and two assists in the game for the Courage.

The game was a matchup of the top two teams in the NWSL, and the Reign had things going their way early.

After a handball on Reign defender Steph Catley in the box, Lydia Williams stopped Lynn Williams’ penalty kick in the 8th minute.

Seattle then took the early lead in the 18th minute. A Megan Rapinoe corner kick was initially saved by Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, but the rebound went to the feet of Megan Oyster. The defender tapped it up and over Rowland for her first goal of the season.

But after that, North Carolina scored four unanswered goals. First, Lynn Williams made up for failing to convert on the PK by heading home a cross from Jaelene Hinkle to tie the score 1-1 in the 27th minute. It’s Hinkle’s fourth assist of the season, tied for the league lead, and Williams’ fourth goal of 2018.

Then in the 33rd, Dunn scored her first of the game on an assist from Lynn Williams.

Courage defender Merritt Mathias scored her second goal of the season in the 48th minute to make it 3-1. Mathias’ effort was a hard, bending shot from outside of the box that Lydia Williams got a hand on but couldn’t keep out of the back of the net.

Dunn added her second of the afternoon in the 70th minute, once again on an assist from Lynn Williams, to put the game out of reach. Dunn finished the game with six shots on goal and five chances created.

In the match, Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni became the first player to reach 10,000 regular season minutes and finished the game with a team-high 80 touches and five interceptions for North Carolina.

It’s the fourth time this season the Courage have scored four goals in a game, all coming on the road. Through 14 games, the Courage have scored 28 goals and conceded 13, a goal differential of +15. They are 6-0-1 on the road. The Reign dropped to 5-3-4 with 19 points and into third place with the loss.

The Reign were without defender Lauren Barnes — who could’ve joined Zerboni as the second player to reach the 10K minutes mark — after she suffered a concussion in last week’s game. The Reign were also without midfielder Jess Fishlock due to injury. Courage midfielder Sam Mewis and defender Abby Dahlkemper also missed the game due to injury.

As they often do, the Courage recorded the most total shots in the game, 25-16, as well as shots on goal, 14-5. Seventeen of North Carolina’s shots came in the first half. The Reign managed to get the better of the possession battle, though, 53.2% to 46.8%. They also had more corners, 11-5.

The Reign will now head to Sandy, Utah, for a Wednesday night game vs. Utah Royals FC. The Courage are next in action on Saturday, June 30, on the road vs. the Orlando Pride.

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