This is the first of three games in seven days for the Reign. After this match in Cary, NC, the Reign return home to face Chicago on Tuesday and Gotham FC on Saturday. There is plenty of depth on this squad, and that’s going to be used over the next week. How will head coach Farid Benstiti use that depth on the road today, with a number of players just returning from international duty?
OL Reign’s ability to go 90 minutes in the heat will also be tested. It is forecast to be 94 degrees with 37% humidity at kickoff. Benstiti may need to call on early subs for both rotational reasons and to keep the team fresh on a large field in the heat.
What to Watch
- Defend North Carolina’s crosses
- Clog the midfield space
- Create — and finish! — early chances
Injury Report / Absences
OUT: Ally Watt (right knee), Karen Bardsley (left thigh – SEI), Rose Lavelle (left ankle), Kelcie Hedge (right foot), Rosie White (illness)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Nicole Momiki
North Carolina Courage
OUT: Lindsay Agnew (right foot), Hailey Harbison (left knee)
20’ - Juuust wide from Jess McDonald.
25’ - Great one-time shot from Bethany Balcer, which Casey Murphy punches out for a corner.
45’ - Fantastic cross from Merritt Mathias there, and Jess McDonald beats Sarah Bouhaddi to the ball. 1-0 North Carolina toward the end of the first half.
77’ - Shoot. With Sam Hiatt down, the Courage get their second goal.
86’ - Jess Fishlock gets one back! 2-1 now.
How to Watch
Join the Discussion
This is your OL Reign versus NC Courage gamethread. Join the discussion here in the comments, or follow the action on Twitter: @rovalks.