NWSL: Courage charge ahead in second half to beat Racing Louisville

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Three different players scored for the North Carolina Courage as the club won its third straight match with a 3-1 victory over visiting Racing Louisville FC on Sunday afternoon in Cary, N.C.

The Courage (8-7-1, 25 points) moved up to sixth place in the NWSL standings after getting all their goals in the second half, with scores coming from Ashley Sanchez, Manaka Matsukubo and Olivia Wingate.

It was the fourth loss in five matches for Louisville (3-6-7, 16 points). After getting a goal in the 31st minute from Reilyn Turner, via an assist from Marisa DiGrande, the visitors failed to match the Courage’s second-half offensive surge.

Sanchez notched the equalizer for the Courage in the 55th minute. After some well-played sharp buildup by the Courage, Meredith Speck crossed a ball into the penalty area and Sanchez guided it into the back of the net with her head for her fourth goal of the year. It marked her third straight match with a goal.

Six minutes later, Louisville keeper Katie Lund came off her line to clear a backwards pass, but it was intercepted by Matsukubo. She took one touch and then chipped the ball over Lund into the net as the keeper raced backwards. It was the first goal of the season for Matsukubo and just the second in the 19-year-old’s NWSL career.

Wingate, playing in her first match of the season after recovering from an injury, then added another goal for good measure in the 69th minute, thanks to an assist from Denise O’Sullivan. It was the first professional goal from Wingate, who was taken by the Courage sixth overall in the 2023 draft out of Notre Dame.

This was the final match for both teams until the NWSL season resumes on Aug. 23 after a break for the Summer Olympics. Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy, who saved four Louisville shots on goal, will feature for the U.S. women’s national team.

–Field Level Media

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