By Tim Nash
On Aug 19, for the 10th time in 18 games this season, the North Carolina Courage looked at the scoreboard at the end of the game and see a zero under their opponent’s name.
Ten shutouts have helped the Courage, who have allowed a league-low 14 goals through 18 games, secure a place atop the NWSL standings for most of the 2017 season.
The stingy defense can be credited to a number of different factors – a high-pressing defense starting athletic forwards, like Ashley Hatch, Jessica McDonald and Lynn Williams, an organized and aggressive midfield led by Sam Mewis and McCall Zerboni, and backline that features a veteran from New Zealand, Abby Erceg, and three players who have caught the eye of U.S. National team coach Jill Ellis – Jaelene Hinkle, Taylor Smith and Abby Dahlkemper. In goal, both Katelyn Rowland and Sabrina D’Angelo have shared the duties. Continue reading