Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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NWSL Decision Day Preview: North Carolina Courage (8-7-6) at Washington Spirit (7-5-9)

Audi Field | Washington, District of Columbia – Sunday, October 15 at 5:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Eight of Washington’s 17 shots against OL Reign came from forward Trinity Rodman, the most by a single Spirit player in a match this season. It was Rodman’s third time attempting eight or more shots for Washington in all competitions with all other Spirit players having three such games over the last three seasons.

In all competitions this season, Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy has 10 clean sheets to tie Louisville’s Katie Lund and Houston’s Jane Campbell for the most among NWSL goalkeepers. It is Murphy’s second time having 10+ shutouts in a single season (also 2021) as she joins Washington’s Nicole Barnhart (three times) as the only goalkeepers with multiple such seasons.

Match facts: It has all come down to this… one final regular season weekend left, and four playoff positions up for grabs with all six NWSL matches kicking off at 5 PM ET on Paramount+ and other outlets. For most details on the league’s broadcast plan, check out where to view expanded coverage here.

The Washington Spirit and North Carolina Courage meet on Sunday in a pivotal contest between 3rd and 5th in the NWSL standings, with a win either side potentially knocking the other to the curb with both teams on 30 points. Both teams are also in need to stopping a skid, as Washington has won just one of their last five in the league (D2 L2), while North Carolina has won none of their last five in the league (D4 L1) facing the final opportunity.

The Spirit have conceded at least one goal in each of their last eight regular season home games. The only longer such streak in a single season for Washington was when the team allowed a goal in all 12 of its home matches in 2014. The club has won one, drawn one, and lost one in their last three home contests, but the only result against a current playoff contending side was a 1-1 draw with Portland.

North Carolina is coming off a scoreless draw with San Diego as the Courage have now drawn four of their last five, with only Louisville also having four draws in a span of five league games this season. It is the first time in team history that they have played to four draws in a five-match span in league play.

In July, North Carolina defeated Washington in the Challenge Cup by a 6-0 margin, the most recent meeting in the fixture. Inevitably, it was the largest margin of defeat by the Spirit in team history in all competitions.

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