This North Carolina squad looks a little different than previous dominating years, as they are without USWNT players Crystal Dunn, Abby Dahlkemper, and Sam Mewis. The team still has plenty of goal-scoring punch, however, in Jess McDonald, Lynn Williams, Kristen Hamilton, and Debinha. The Courage will put lots of pressure on their opponents, and with a quick transition game in the midfield, they will get plenty of looks on goal. With Cheney being a slightly more narrow field, OL Reign players will need to stay close to one another defensively.
Where North Carolina struggled during the preseason Challenge Cup tournament was on the defensive end. They are vulnerable defending through balls and passes into the box. OL Reign should work to get as many bodies into the box in the attack while protecting the transition game.
The Tacoma club will be without a few key players in the midfield, as Quinn and Shirley Cruz are both out with injuries. This should be a good opening test for the Reign, who will have a few additional stars coming in a few weeks.
What to Watch
- Keep the Courage in front of the defense
- Win the second ball
- Flood the box in the attack
Injury Report / Absences
OUT: Shirley Cruz (right hip), Ella Dederick (right knee), Quinn (left Achilles), Ally Watt (ACL-SEI) | QUESTIONABLE: Sam Hiatt (head)
North Carolina Courage
OUT: Rylee Baisden (left hamstring), Meredith Speck (left knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Abby Erceg (low back), Lynn Williams (left hamstring)
2’: Big chance off the crossbar for the Courage
56’: Huge save by Bardsley to keep it level!
PInoe off the post!
74’: Murphy denies Balcer
How to Watch
Date/Time: Saturday, May 15, 7 PM PT
Location: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma
Streaming (US/Canada): Twitch
Streaming (International): Twitch
Join the Discussion
This is your OL Reign versus North Carolina Courage gamethread. Join the discussion here in the comments, or follow the action on Twitter: @rovalks.