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North Carolina Courage rolls to 2-0 win over Washington Spirit

The North Carolina Courage insist it is tough to rack up win after win, especially when every team they face gives their best effort.

It may be difficult, but the Courage keep making it look easy. 

North Carolina rolled to a 2-0 home win over the Washington Spirit Wednesday night.

“We definitely have a target on our back – we are the team to beat. And at the end of the day, it is kind of nice to have that pressure and be able to act on the field in a professional manner the way that we have during this process,” Courage forward Jessica McDonald said. “It’s pretty amazing to see us improve each game.”

Debinha opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Lynn Williams’ cross was deflected before it was gathered by Debhinha, who pushed the ball home to give the Courage an early 1-0 lead.

In the 60th minute, Crystal Dunn intercepted a slow pass midfield and passed to Williams on the right side of the box. Williams froze the Washington defense and pushed the ball to the far left side of goal, brushing the crossbar and bouncing in for the score.

Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe finished with four saves, while Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland also recorded four saves.

The Courage dominated every phase of the game, including a 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent advantage in possession.

“It was a good professional performance,” Courage coach Paul Riley said. “I wouldn’t say it was our best performance. It was also 95 [degrees] out there – it was hot, man. So that obviously hurt us a little bit, especially in the first half. We settled down a little bit when it got cooler in the second half. Yeah, I’m happy. The result is the result.”

North Carolina (13-1-3, 42 points) remains firmly atop the NWSL table, while struggling Washington (2-11-4, 10 points) sits in eighth place and 10 points away from the rest of the teams contending for playoff spots.

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