CARY, NC (August 21, 2021) – The North Carolina Courage claimed their third straight victory Saturday night against the visiting team Kansas City, commanding the flow of the game and taking the result 4-0. Individual goals from Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald, Amy Rodriguez and Meredith Speck provided the dominant victory, with Carson Pickett adding two assists and Ryan Williams adding his first career assist. Casey Murphy also dominated, who made nine saves to record his seventh clean sheet of the season.
Lynn Williams opened the scoring early, receiving a ball from Carson Pickett in the Kansas City box. In a show of his composure in the attacking third, Williams placed the ball in his right foot and scored a shot in the lower 90, giving Courage a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute of play on his first game since returning from the Olympics. With tonight’s goal, Williams joins Ashley Hatch of the Washington Spirit and Sydney Leroux of the Orlando Pride in a three-way tie for the league leader in goals scored this season. On the play, Pickett tallied his fourth assist of the season, becoming the league leader in assists.
Later, in the 21st minute, McDonald added his own goal to extend Courage’s lead to 2-0, sending a header to the back of the net. Catalyzing the scoring game, Pickett recorded his second assist of the night to bring his season’s assists tally to five. McDonald’s goal was the 50th goal of her regular season career, becoming the fourth player in NWSL history to reach such a milestone, as well as the second Courage player to do so, the first being Lynn Williams. .
Joining Williams and McDonald on the scoresheet, Rodriguez completed the first three trikes in the 64th minute, scoring a Ryan Williams cross to score his second goal in as many games against his former team. With Rodriguez’s goal added to the mix, tonight’s starting three forwards scored one goal during the game.
Courage added a fourth goal in the 90th minute, the scoring campaign beginning when Taylor Smith blocked a shot just outside Courage Eighteen, the deflection landing on Speck’s path. Beating a Kansas City defenseman in a running race, the midfielder took a skillful touch to beat goalie Katelyn Rowland in midfield. Sending a weighted ball to the far post, Speck took the opportunity to add his second career goal, sealing the dominant 4-0 victory.
“The energy of Meredith Speck when she arrived was spectacular,” said head coach Paul Riley after the game. “I thought the momentum had completely changed when she came in, and we went from pressure to applying pressure the moment she entered the field.”
– With two assists in the evening, Carson Pickett is now the league leader in assists.
– Jessica McDonald scored her 50th career goal in tonight’s game.
– Amy Rodriguez has scored in two straight games, after scoring in Courage’s last game against the Chicago Red Stars.
– Casey Murphy made nine saves to earn his seventh clean sheet of the season.
Next stop: The North Carolina Courage will travel to face the Washington Spirit on Sunday, August 29 at 5 p.m. ET at Audi Field in Washington, DC as the team pursues its fourth consecutive victory.
The score of the box:
CNC (4-4-2): Casey Murphy, Kaleigh Kurtz, Carson Pickett, Abby Erceg ©, Denise O’Sullivan, Debinha (Brittany Ratcliffe – 83 ‘), Merritt Mathias (Ryan Williams – 59’), Havana Solaun, Lynn Williams (Cari Roccaro – 83 ‘), Amy Rodriguez (Taylor Smith – 76’), Jessica McDonald (Meredith Speck – 59 ‘)
Unused captions: Diane Caldwell, Rylee Baisden, Angharad James, Sam Murphy
KC (4-5-1): Katelyn Rowland, Kristen Edmonds, Elizabeth Ball (Mariana Larroquette – 79 ‘), Mallory Weber, Kiki Pickett, Katie Bowen (Michele Vasconcelos – 80’), Lo LaBonta, Victoria Pickett, Hailie Mace ( Darian Jenkins – 68 ‘), Kristen Hamilton, Addie McCain (Chloe Logarzo – 68’)
Unused Followers: Adrianna Franch, Gaby Vincent, Jaycie Johnson, Kate Del Fava, Jessica Silva
NC: Lynn Williams – 12 ‘, Jessica McDonald – 21’, Amy Rodriguez —64 ‘, Meredith Speck – 90’
NC: Havana Solaun – 40 ‘, 75’
KC: Addie McClain – 44 ‘, Kiki Pickett – 47’
NC: Havana Solaun – 75 ‘