With 15 games already played, the North Carolina Courage look to get their 13th win the National Women's Soccer League when they welcome the Washington Spirit to WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday evening.
The Courage are set to make the playoffs once again and look good for another NWSL Shield while the Spirit are having a hard time putting a run of form together.
WakeMed has become a fortress for the Courage
North Carolina have only lost once in their seven home games this season and will look to add to their win column when they face the Spirit tomorrow night. After their impressive 4-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars last time out, the Courage will come into this game full of confidence and looking to score more goals.
Crystal Dunn, Lydia Williams and Jessica McDonald have all been in fantastic form so far this season, scoring seven and five goals respectively. With the addition of Heather O'Reilly to an attack that already has those three as well as Debinha, and a midfield anchored by McCall Zerboni and Samantha Mewis, the Courage have remained as the team to beat in the NWSL. Facing what was a porous Washington backline on the weekend means that the Courage will have a chance to pour on the misery and keep Washington near the bottom of the standings.
Washington look to spring a surprise away from home
The last time the two teams met, Washington managed to hole North Carolina to just a solitary goal by Abby Erceg. Aubrey Bledsoe has been in outstanding form and is the reason why Washington have not sunk without a trace this season. Although Bledsoe conceded two goals against the Orlando Pride in the Spirit's last game, the goalkeeper can be relied upon to keep Washington in the game for as long as feasibly possible. Washington's defenders, led by Estelle Johnson have also been impressive, despite the Spirit's position in the standings. If they, and Bledsoe can stand strong against a potent NC Courage frontline, they may be in with a chance tomorrow.
Washington will need more production from their attacking players however. Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle have not played together much this season due to varying injuries and this has stymied the Washington attack. Unless all of their players can remain healthy for an extended period of time, this may become a long season for the Spirit and their match tomorrow night against the Courage may be their second heavy defeat in a matter of days.