On Sunday, the National Women’s Soccer League continued a soccer-filled weekend with four matches. First, the Wave traveled to North Carolina.
North Carolina Courage 0, San Diego Wave 1
The Skinny: In the first-ever matchup between these two clubs, the expansion side earned the victory thanks to Alex Morgan’s goal and effective shutdown of the high octane Courage offense.
One Key Moment: The game-winning goal is an easy choice here. The tally is Morgan’s sixth of the regular season as she continues her red hot start. The initial winning of the ball by Taylor Kornieck in the midfield is demonstrative of the central midfield pressure by San Diego that regularly forced turnovers and disrupted North Carolina.
Inside the Game: The game began slowly as both sides worked to figure each other out but after the first half hydration break both came out with some effective changes. San Diego made a major adjustment in their press that seriously frustrated the Courage by clogging the central areas of the pitch, which particularly limited the crucial play of Denise O’Sullivan and Debinha. This central pressure forced the turnover by Debinha that led to the goal.
The Courage came out stronger in the second half, engaging their high press which left them vulnerable in behind but the Wave were unable to take advantage. The home side created some good chances of their own by Kailen Sheridan was there every time to preserve her third clean sheet of the season. As frustration mounted, and legs got more tired, the Courage simply couldn’t get any control in the last 10 minutes to find an equalizer so San Diego will travel home with all 3 points.