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Lauletta: A most unsatisfying draw for Courage, Royals

Crystal Dunn (left) and Merritt Mathias were all smiles, but Saturday's draw left no one satisfied (photo copyright Lewis Gettier)

For a while on Saturday the Courage looked well on their way to a 5-0-0 start. For a while on Saturday the Royals looked well on their way to the first win in club history. And then the whistle blew and it was a 2-2 draw that could not possibly have satisfied either club. So how did we get there?

Courage finally paid for missed chances

The story of the Courage season so far has been about winning, but also about how they are willing to shoot at anything, often to the point of alarmingly low conversion percentages. Sometimes, like Week 1 against the Thorns, they literally shot at anything. Other times, like Wednesday night against the Reign, they had too many golden opportunities to justify walking off the field with only one goal (yes they won the match, 1-0.) Saturday was something of a mixed bag but the Courage’s inability to run up the score finally helped cost them points.

Simply put the Courage should have been ahead by multiple goals by halftime and then used the second half to see out the match on legs that played mid-week to their opponent’s travelled but significantly better rested ones. They were that much better than the Royals in the opening half. But instead of that scenario the Courage opened the second half nursing a narrow lead, and after Abby Smith turned away Jess McDonald on yet another splendid opportunity, the Royals began to get their teeth into the match.

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