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North Carolina Courage

Julia Spetsmark leads North Carolina Courage to 1-1 draw with Portland Thorns

Two of the top teams in the NWSL played to a draw on Saturday

Julia Spetsmark received a pass and drove toward to opposing box.

Spetsmark, a North Carolina Courage striker, found herself on the right wing and cut to her left. Spetsmark dribbled a couple of times and then unleashed a shot off her left foot while slipping.

Her curling effort hit the crossbar in the 66th minute as North Carolina tried to take a lead over Portland Thorns FC. Spetsmark’s second effort after a scramble in the box was deflected.

It was one of the best chances in the contest as North Carolina and Portland played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday in a matchup of two of the top NWSL teams.

North Carolina (3-4-2, 13 points) controlled most of the contest, finishing with more total shots (21 to 7), shots on goal (six to three) and possession (65.8 to 34.2).

However, the Courage could not take advantage of their possession.

Portland (4-3-1, 15 points) opened the scoring as Margaret Purce continued her goal-scoring form. In the 26th minute, Purce found herself isolated before chipping North Carolina goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak.

It is the third consecutive game Purce has scored a goal and her fourth during the span.

Spetsmark equalized early in the second half. Spetsmarks split Portland’s center-back pairing before chipping Britt Eckerstrom and tying the game at 1.

North Carolina goes on the road and plays Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Portland will play Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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