Courage Earn First Clean Sheet Of 2024 Behind Brianna Pinto’s Winner

NC Courage Acquire Defender Emily Fox in Trade with Racing Louisville

March 30, 2024 – National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
North Carolina Courage News Release

CARY, N.C. – The North Carolina Courage fought to the final whistle to hold off NJ/NY Gotham FC, 1-0, for the team’s first clean sheet and second win of the season Saturday night in front of 5,281 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The Courage improved to 2-1-0 on the season for six points through three weeks of the NWSL regular season. Brianna Pinto scored the lone goal of the night for her first of the season.

“It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. They’re a good side. We had to weather the storm a bit, especially late in that half. I felt like we were a bit all over the place the first 15 minutes. Our press was off, so we had to tweak it a little bit. We worked on a few things throughout the week, so the players were prepared to adjust whenever we needed to.

We got a good goal. And then we had to grind. I’ve been challenging the group all week in terms of learning from last week, in terms of fighting and competing. And that last 10 minutes, they put us under an immense amount of pressure and we competed and found a way. And, for that, I’m really proud of the group,” said Courage Head Coach Sean Nahas.

The Courage thwarted six Gotham shot attempts in the first half then, just before the half, capitalized on their second shot of the evening on a true team goal. Ryan Williams played a through ball down the right flank that got Bianca St-Georges in behind to launch a cross into the box.

Ashley Sanchez got a head on it and the redirect fell perfectly to Brianna Pinto to strike and give the home side the lead just a minute before the halftime whistle. It was the second straight match Sanchez contributed to a goal.

Gotham charged for an equalizer down the stretch with eight shots in the second half and a bulk of possession in the attacking third, but the Courage held their ground and defended well through the final whistle to earn the clean sheet and all three points headed into the international break.

Match Notes:

The Courage celebrated 2023 NWSL MVP Kerolin Nicoli with a pre-match ceremony.

The Courage won 16 tackles compared to Gotham FC’s 11.

The win snaps a five-match winless streak for the Courage against Gotham.

This was the 24th all-time meeting between the two clubs across all competitions, the most for the Courage against a single opponent.

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