A capacity crowd of 10,227 fans cheered the North Carolina Courage to their second straight National Women’s Soccer League championship on Sunday night, as the Courage defeated the Chicago Red Stars 4–0 in a dominating performance at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. 

This was the home team’s third title in four years. This season also marked the third consecutive time the Courage had won the NWSL Shield, which is awarded to the team with the best regular-season record. 

The Red Stars headed into the title game with a six-game winning stream and the NWSL’s most valuable player, star forward Sam Kerr. But Kerr, who had scored eighteen goals in twenty-one games, was unable to sneak one past goaltender Stephanie Labbé. 

After scoring in the fourth minute—the fastest in NWSL title match history—Debinha Miri became the first Brazilian to be named the championship game’s MVP. Jessica McDonald, Crystal Dunn, and Sam Mewis added three more goals for a total of four—the most scored in an NWSL title match. 

This victory was the last for North Carolina’s midfielder, Heather O’Reilly, who will retire as a player and join the Courage’s staff, having amassed a World Cup trophy, three Olympic gold medals, and three NWSL titles. 

Other things of note from last night’s match: 

  • This was the largest crowd to ever attend a match at WakeMed—including for the North Carolina Football Club. 
  • The Courage became the first NWSL team to win the title on their home field. 
  • The Courage went unbeaten at home this season. 
  • The Courage became the first team to score three goals in one half of an NWSL title match. 
  • The Courage became only the second NWSL team to repeat as champions. 
  • The Courage rule. 

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One reply on “The NC Courage Claim Second Straight NWSL Championship”

  1. This year I fell in love with Sport again because of this team. After years of becoming jaded over college sports from a ethics and moral perspective and becoming more bored with professional football and disturbed by the realities of concussions and the business of the sport; I thought amateur sports was the only way I was going to return to the fun of being a fan. And then, this year, I was introduced to these professional athletes playing heart thumping soccer on a the best club in one of the best leagues in the world in OUR OWN BACKYARD! They care about the game and you can see it in the way they play, they don’t flop the way in the frustrating (at least for Americans) way that professional men’s soccer has a reputation for, they are tough and inspiring role models for my daughter and my son… and me. #builditforthewomen

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