North Carolina Courage Defeat Orlando Pride 6-1
The Courage continue their dominance while drawing a season-high attendance. Photo:

North Carolina Courage Defeat Orlando Pride 6-1

The Courage only increase their chances of capturing a third consecutive NWSL shield.

Jessica Guan

On Saturday night the North Carolina Courage mercilessly thrashed the Orlando Pride 6-1. They also honored and celebrated the career of USWNT legend, World Cup champion, and Olympic gold medalist Heather O'Reilly.

Goals, more goals, and even more goals

On Wednesday, Lynn Williams netted a hat trick against the second-placed Portland Thorns FC. But tonight, she showed she had more to offer. In the 6th minute, she found the back of the net again for her team-leading eleventh goal of this season. She took the assist from Kristen Hamilton, a cross from the right flank that she volleyed into the goal.

Five minutes later, Hamilton was leading an attack when Erin Greening fouled her in the box, causing her to have to leave the match because of an injury. USWNT defender Abby Dahlkemper stepped up to the spot, but her effort was denied by her fellow USWNT teammate Ashlyn Harris. Before this kick, Dahlkemper had a perfect penalty kick attempt record.

In the 37th minute, Kristen Edmonds unluckily increased the Courage’s lead by volleying a cross from Jaelene Hinkle into her own net.

Hinkle helped produce another goal for her team four minutes later. It was USWNT striker Jessica McDonald who one-timed her cross from the left flank into Orlando's goal.

Actually, how about some more goals?

In the 63rd minute, Debinha had a solid opportunity to increase her team's lead with a strong shot that curled just over the upper left corner of the goal.

O'Reilly had a solid chance, too, in the 72nd minute. She took a curling shot with her left foot from the top of the box that Harris swiped away.

McDonald helped McKenzie Meehan open her scoring account with the Courage in league play in the 78th minute. Meehan was on the end of her cross into the six-yard box.

Rachel Hill pulled back a consolation goal for Orlando in the 82nd minute with a well-struck half-volley from the top of the box.

On a night that was all about her, O'Reilly scored a beautiful goal before taking a bow. She ripped a shot past Harris from the top of the box.

In the final minute of the match, she set up Debinha to find the sixth goal of the match for the Courage. Debinha was put into a great scoring position and finished with a low shot into the net. This is the second consecutive match in which North Carolina has scored six goals.

The North Carolina Courage (12-4-4) must immediately shift their focus to their match on Tuesday against the Houston Dash. The Orlando Pride (4-15-2) have nothing left to play for except for . . . pride and will hope that a two-week rest will rejuvenate them for their next match against Sky Blue FC.