Courage Unable To Find Winner In the Regular Season Finale
By Jaden Dakwa – LA Soccer Press
The North Carolina Courage settled for a scoreless draw in their last match of the regular season against San Diego Wave on Friday night at Snapdragon Stadium. The Courage traveled to San Diego in control of their own destiny. A win would seal their berth in the playoffs and anything else but a win could open up scenarios for Chicago Red Stars or Angel City FC grabbing a spot in the playoffs.
Tess Boade created a great chance for the Courage in the 8th minute when she whipped a ball into the box that fell in a great position for Carson Pickett. Pickett was able to get a touch on the ball, but could direct it on target.
Kelsey Turnbow was able to intercept a pass from Casey Murphy in the 13th minute and Turnbow nearly found the target. Turnbow’s shot was deflected by Kaleigh Kurtz and Murphy ended up making a fingertip save to push the ball wide.
Carson Pickett was able to play a one-two with Tess Boade on the edge of the box in the 28th minute. Pickett was able to receive the ball with space available to herself. Pickett fired an effort on goal, but it ended up flying over the crossbar.
In the 36th minute, San Diego Wave attacker Sofia Jakobsson found herself with space in the box and she took an effort on goal. Her shot ended up missing the target and hit the outside of the net.
Courage midfielder Brianna Pinto made an effort on goal in the 41st minute and her shot nearly hit the target. The ball barely looped over the crossbar and almost forced San Diego Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan into making a save.
Pickett whipped in a corner in stoppage time of the first half and Courage defender Kaleigh Kurtz was able to get her head to the ball. She was unable to direct the header on target and the ball sailed over the net.
Pickett hit a low cross on the ground in the 48th minute that Courage forward Kerolin was able to connect with. Kerolin’s effort on goal was blocked by San Diego Wave midfielder Madison Pogarch.
In the 53rd minute, San Diego Wave midfielder Makenzy Doniak was able to find the back of the net on a low shot that trickled towards the side net. The goal was eventually overturned after it was ruled Jodie Taylor was in an offside position and in the line of sight of Casey Murphy when she let the ball run past towards goal.
Pogarch had a header in the 55th minute from a corner that was played in by Kelsey Turnbow. Murphy was able to make an initial save and Doniak had another attempt on goal that was blocked by Tess Boade.
Kerolin played a great delivery into the box in the 72nd minute and Carson Pickett was able to make a headed attempt on goal. Pickett’s effort narrowly went over the bar and nearly forced Sheridan into making a save for the Wave.
The North Carolina Courage pushed to score a late goal, but were unable to find a late winner.
The Chicago Red Stars played against Angel City FC on Sunday evening. Both teams were placed in 7th place and 8th place respectively. Chicago Red Stars were able to win the match by a scoreline of 2-0 over Angel City. Chicago Red Stars ended the season with one more point than the Courage and were able to secure 6th place in the final standings for the regular season. Red Stars clinched the last spot in the place, which is sixth place, and the Courage were narrowly found on the outside looking in of the playoff picture.
The Courage had won seven of their last nine matches heading into the regular season finale against the Wave. The team was searching for a late push to take them into a playoff position, but fortunes saw them narrowly miss out.
The Courage’s season has now concluded and will begin their offseason before the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup.
Dakwa holds a BS in Journalism from Elon University. He writes about North Carolina professional soccer for L.A. Soccer Press. Follow him at @JDakwa on Twitter.