Kerr’s Late Goal Gives Sky Blue Huge Win Over North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina  - Saturday July 01, 2017: Samantha Kerr celebrates her goal with Kelley OíHara and Maya Hayes during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between the North Carolina Courage and the Sky Blue FC at Sahlenís Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

By TOM SLATER

sky blue logoThrough Sam Kerr, all things seem possible.

Kerr, one of the most exciting players in the National Women’s Soccer League, volleyed home the game-winner in the 84th minute to spark Sky Blue’s improbable 1-0 victory over first-place North Carolina Courage in Cary, N.C., on a sweltering Saturday afternoon.

Sky Blue (6-6-1, 19 points) limped into the game against North Carolina (8-4-0, 24) a tired team, physically and mentally. Playing their third match in seven days, the team entered the game on a two-game losing streak in which Sky Blue held late second-half leads against Chicago and Orlando, only to lose both matches.

North Carolina was were well-rested and at home.

Kerr, who was not scheduled to start but talked her way into the lineup, proved to be the difference maker once again. She opened a new month with the goal after winning the league’s Player of the Month Award in May and June. But she had help against the Courage.

Leah Galton, the second-year midfielder from England, got a quick pass from midfielder Daphne Corboz, beat Liz Eddy and Tiffany Smith to the end line before sending a serve to the middle of the goal. Maya Hayes stepped in front of Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and flicked the serve with her foot to the far post.

Kerr was unmarked and volleyed the shot into the empty net for the game-winner, her sixth goal of the year.

The Courage tried mightily to tie the match. The NWSL front-runners sent long balls into the area any chance they got. Sky Blue didn’t help by committing several fouls within striking range. first-place North Carolina. But Sky Blue defense, led by Christie Pearce and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, made sure nothing passed the goal line.