Saturday, June 25, 2022
Sports Gaming Monitor

Match Preview: North Carolina Courage (2-3-1) vs. Houston Dash (3-2-3)

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North Carolina defender Kaleigh Kurtz has been somewhat of an unlikely name on the scoresheet, having scored in consecutive games after not scoring in any of her first 40 NWSL regular season appearances. Kurtz had not even recorded a shot on target in any of her first 40 league games prior to her first goal. In addition, Brazilian forward Kerolin, who lit up the NWSL Challenge Cup Final, got her season account off to its start in the club’s last match—a stunning 3-2 win over their Cup Final opponents Washington. 

With forward Rachel Daly unavailable due to international duty, Houston will look to the likes of Nichelle Prince and Shea Groom to help bolster an attack that usually features the England international front and center. Prince has scored four goals on the year, three of which came in the club’s last win—a 5-0 stomping of Orlando—but the Dash as a team are scoreless in their last two outings and will need some attacking output to get a result against the Courage.

Match facts: The North Carolina Courage help close the weekend’s action when they host the Houston Dash for Sunday’s final match at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The Courage are building off back-to-back wins and a draw against Houston on the road in its three game unbeaten run, while the Dash seek to close out a two-game winless streak after a draw against Angel City and loss to Portland. 

North Carolina has won consecutive matches after opening the regular season with one point from its first four games, scoring three times in both wins. The Courage had scored three or more goals just twice in their previous 25 regular season matches before doing so in two straight.

Meanwhile, Houston’s six-match unbeaten run (W3 D3) came to an end with a 4-0 defeat to Portland on Sunday. The Dash had allowed only three goals all regular season before letting in four against the Thorns last weekend.

However, the Dash are unbeaten in their last four matches against North Carolina (W3 D1), including a 1-1 draw on May 29. North Carolina won eight of the first nine meetings in all NWSL competitions (D1), including the first five at home before Houston won in Cary last July.

Eagle Eye Sports Monitor

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