Angel City prevail against North Carolina

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9, 2023) – Angel City Football Club beat the top-ranked North Carolina Courage 2–1 at home tonight following a goal by midfielder Savannah McCaskill and an own goal set up by forward Elizabeth Eddy. Midfielder Brianna Pinto scored for the visitors.

“Going into this game, we knew that three points was the job. It took every single person to get the job done,” Angel City FC midfielder Savannah McCaskill said after the game. “Going into the break, it’s even better because we feel we earned the break, and now puts us back in a closer playoff spot, which the rest of the season is ours to battle for.

Photo courtesy of Angel City FC

“That’s the outlook going into the second half of the season, everyone goes away for this week, recharge, regroup, get our minds right, bodies healed and get some players back from injury so we can get ready to go again.”

The Courage opened the scoring in the 15th minute when forward Tyler Lussi chipped the ball over the head of Angel City defender Paige Nielsen to midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri. Tagliaferri sprinted forward to beat defender Megan Reid and sent a diagonal pass back toward the penalty arc, where midfielder Brianna Pinto was making a run. From just inside the 18, Pinto one-timed the ball to the lower right-hand corner of the goal.

Angel City pulled one back just three minutes later when defender Kiki Pickett miscleared a corner kick, letting it fall to forward Scarlett Camberos. She burst past Pickett inside the box to send a low cross to the goal mouth, where McCaskill was lurking, and the ball bounced off her torso and into the net.

The home team came close in the 40th minute when defender Sarah Gorden got on the end of a corner kick by forward Clarisse Le Bihan. Gorden volleyed the ball toward goal, where it bounced off the far post to McCaskill, whose close-range attempt was saved.

Statistically, the hosts dominated the first half, with 45% of the action taking place in their attacking half, and with Angel City recording 13 shots to North Carolina’s three.

The Courage came out swinging early in the second half when in the 47th minute, Tagliaferri sent a ball into the six-yard box for forward Olivia Wingate, but keeper DiDi Hara?i? saved her headed shot.

Photo courtesy of Angel City FC

In the 49th minute, defender Jasmyne Spencer had a near miss. Le Bihan turned two defenders to play a cross into the far side of the penalty area. Spencer was crashing the box unmarked and shot from an angle with her right foot, but Rowland blocked the ball out for a corner kick.

McCaskill took a crack from distance in the 65th minute after midfielder Madison Hammond tapped a short sideways pass to her just outside the penalty arc. Her curving shot was on target in the upper left-hand corner, and Rowland did well to make the diving save.

LA got the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute when midfielder Elizabeth Eddy nutmegged Pickett inside the 18 and sent a low cross into the six-yard box, where Courage defender Kaleigh Kurtz tried to make the stop and instead redirected the ball into the goal.

“They made a cut on the right with the ball and a great pass from a teammate, and then I was going to enter a one-on-one duel and then she kind of overstepped and I got a shot off before the center back slid hard and it wasn’t even on target. In soccer, if you get it hard across the center of the goal, sometimes it will go,” Eddy said about her game-winning goal.

Angel City has a three-week break for the World Cup before their next game, a Challenge Cup match at home against the Portland Thorns on Saturday, July 29 at 7:00 p.m. The game will stream live on Paramount+.

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