NCC becomes first to punch playoff ticket

SANTA MONICA — North Carolina Courage indeed seems to be unstoppable. The Courage not only are the top of the league but also the first to punch its ticket to playoffs. En route to punching its ticket, NCC defeated Sky Blue FC 4-0 Saturday afternoon at Yurcak Field.

We’re heading to the 2018 @nwsl playoffs! #NoFinishLine

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It’s hard to wonder why the Courage sits at the top when they host players who perform like Lynn Williams did this week. The third-year striker clinched a hat trick over a 30-minute period in the second half. Her sheer speed and ability to be there made her the key target for North Carolina Saturday.
Williams most skilled goal came off a long ball from Debhina. The Brazilian booted the ball up field over the Sky Blue backline where Williams caught up with the long ball. Breaking past the backline, Williams dribbled into the 18 before booting a shot through the keeper’s hands. Her third goal came off a stolen pass she dribbled into the back of the net after evading the keeper in the 89th minute. Twenty-six minutes earlier Williams received a pass from Kristen Hamilton who had drawn the keeper out, allowing Williams to push the shot in undefended.
Williams’ three goals Saturday put her in second for the Golden Boot with eight goals and four assists. She trails behind Chicago Red Stars’ standout forward Sam Kerr who currently sits at nine goals this season.
The Courage improve to 14-3-1 while Sky Blue falls to 0-3-12. NCC return to face the Utah Royals Friday, July 20, at 7 p.m. for the first time since its loss on June 16. NCC will be seeking redemption in the rematch and re-establish its dominating presence in the league. Sky Blue will resume action on Saturday, July 21, against Portland at 4 p.m. where it’ll be looking for it’s first win of the season.
Photos courtesy of ISI.

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