The North Carolina Courage tightened their grip on the top spot in the National Women’s Soccer League standings on Saturday.
First-half goals from Crystal Dunn and Samantha Mewis helped North Carolina secure a 2-1 victory over winless Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field.
Dunn recorded her fourth goal of the season in the 16th minute. During a counter-attack, Jessica McDonald sent a cross into the box, finding Dunn to slot the ball into the net.
Mewis doubled the lead after a shot from Debinha deflected off Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. The ball fell to Mewis, who struck from close range in the 27th minute for her first goal of the season.
Sky Blue (0-5-1) was awarded a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, but Katelyn Rowe denied Carli Lloyd’s kick from the spot and stopped the rebound shot from Raquel Rodriguez moments later.
The Courage (7-0-2, 23 points) tied the 2014 Seattle Reign team (7-0-2) for the best nine-game start to the NWSL season after Saturday’s result.
Lloyd pulled one back in the 93rd minute of stoppage time, scoring her first goal for New Jersey off a free kick outside the box.
The Courage travel to take on the Orlando Pride on Wednesday at Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Sky Blue are also in action that same day when they take on the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex.