Holding strong for more than 80 minutes, Reign FC’s defense cracked in the 82nd minute. North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams slotted home the game-winning goal past diving Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy. Reign FC remain steady at 5th place with 27 points (7-5-6) after the 1-0 loss. NC Courage moves to 2nd with 31 points (7-4-4).
Murphy saved six of the seven shots on target. The Reign defense blocked another eight shots as Reign FC defended their net, holding one of the league’s most potent attacks to just a single goal. Murphy was the Reign FC Player of the Match.
In the first half NC Courage took 18 shots, using wide spaces to run forward, but most of their attempts were from distance and did not challenge Murphy.
The final 45 minutes were a tighter contest as the Reign FC defense won a majority of tackles and duels, while limiting North Carolina to just eight shots. Courage’s shots were more threatening, and Murphy had to make a brilliant save in the 69th minute when NC Courage midfielder Crystal Dunn blasted a shot from the right side.
Reign FC forward Bethany Balcer created the best scoring opportunity of the night in the 80th minute, but NC Courage goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe stopped the shot to her left. Reign ended the night with nine shots, only one of which was on goal.
Reign FC returns home to Cheney Stadium on Saturday, September 7 to host the Orlando Pride at 7 p.m. PT. It is the first of four matches in September that will be played at home.