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NWSL Friday: Kristen Hamilton packs on four goals for Courage

Kristen Hamilton
NC Courage forward Kristen Hamilton (23) during a match between the NC Courage and Portland Thorns FC in Week 9 of the 2019 NWSL regular season at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC — Saturday, June 15, 2019. Photo by Lewis Gettier

North Carolina Courage 5, Houston Dash 2

Kristen Hamilton isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The midfielder/forward is making the most out of her opportunity to start matches — with a chunk of her international teammates still at the World Cup. Hamilton wanted another hat-trick this season — she already produced one a month ago against the Orlando Pride — but ended up doing more than that. She piled on four goals to help the North Carolina Courage edged the Houston Dash, 5-2.

It didn’t take Hamilton long to find the back of the net. Just five minutes into the match, Hamilton scored a Merritt Mathias-assisted goal. She found the net once again in the first half, while Lynn Williams also sent a ball past Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

However, the Dash succeeded in pulling two points back, as Kristie Mewis and Kyah Simon managed to score against Katelyn Rowland. Mewis is the older sister of Sam Mewis, who is currently away from the Courage and with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Her goal was assisted by Simon.

In the second half, Hamilton stole the show.

She began the second half in style, scoring in the 54th minute, with Williams assisting the goal. However, her finale came in the 71st minute, as she found the back of Campbell’s net for the final time. She left the match four minutes later, as Swedish forward Julia Spetsmark entered the contest.

Hamilton now has seven goals this season, which puts her in second place on the NWSL scoring leaderboard, only two goals behind Chicago Red Stars striker Sam Kerr. Meanwhile, Jaelene Hinkle and Williams are tied for the most assists in the league, as both players have helped out four goals each.

North Carolina began the season slow, unlike recent seasons. However, with the three points accumulated tonight, the Courage have jumped back up to first place in the NWSL with 19 points. Meanwhile, the Dash, under first-year head coach James Clarkson, have slid down to seventh place in a wide open race, as they sit with 13 points.

Next week, the Courage welcome Reign FC to Sahlen Stadium on Saturday. Meanwhile, later in the evening, the Dash return home to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars.

Goal Summary

  • North Carolina Courage (Kristen Hamilton, 5′)
  • North Carolina Courage (Kristen Hamilton, 18′)
  • Houston Dash (Kristie Mewis, 24′)
  • North Carolina Courage (Lynn Williams, 31′)
  • Houston Dash (Kyah Simon, 43′)
  • North Carolina Courage (Kristen Hamilton, 54′)
  • North Carolina Courage (Kristen Hamilton, 71′)

Caution Summary

  • Houston Dash (Sophie Schmidt, 53′)
  • Houston Dash (Haley Hanson, 69′)

— Rachael McKriger 

Portland Thorns FC 0, Reign FC 1

Celia Jiménez Delgado’s first NWSL goal lifted Reign FC past Portland Thorns FC, 1-0 on Friday in front of 19,116 fans Providence Park.

Celia scored in the 55th minute after the ball bounced around near the top of the box.

The meeting was the first of the season between the Cascadia rivals.

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