A picture from the crowd right before the Courage scored their third goal of the game. The NC Courage took home 4-0 win over Chicago. Photo Courtesy of Rachel Fearn.
On Sunday, October 27, the North Carolina Courage captured their second National Women’s Soccer League trophy after beating the Chicago Red Stars 4-0. During the match, the crowd was wild. Attendance was over 10,000 people, tailgating and supporting the team.
During the game on Sunday, the Courage scored 4 goals in 96 minutes, (6 minutes added for injury time). This win is extremely important, as the Courage dominated the game, not allowing any goals from the Red Stars, ending with a shutout. Paul Riley, head coach of the NCFC, called them “the underdogs” throughout the season, never giving up hope that they would come out with a win. Not many believed the Courage would end with a win, due to their previous record against the Red Stars. Throughout the season, the Courage have played Chicago three times, ending with Chicago’s score as 2-0-1 record. This left the Courage to face a team they have not defeated before during the 2019 season.
Not only did the Courage secure a win this Sunday, they also shut out Chicago and their ‘star player’, Sam Kerr. Kerr has had all eyes on her this season, scoring 18 goals and winning the Golden Boot three times in her career. Everyone was expecting Kerr to dominate the field during such a big game, but the Courage’s defense shut her down for the whole game.
Not only was this a huge win for the North Carolina Courage overall, this game was extremely important to one star player: Heather O’Reilly. Starting on the US Women’s National Team at the young age of 17, O’Reilly has been an extremely important player for both NC Courage and the USWNT. According to ProSoccerUSA, she appeared in the Stars and Stripes 231 times from 2002 through 2016, scoring 47 goals. O’Reilly played in three World Cups, appearing in 12 matches, scoring twice, and dishing out two assists between the 2007, 2011 and 2015 competitions. O’Reilly retired after the game on Sunday, and is now an assistant coach for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
This is a game which will go down in history, as the underdogs take home another win, and their second-year NWSL championship trophy.