The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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The NC Courage 2024 Season Begins

Tyler+Lussi%2C+Ashley+Sanchez%2C+Dani+Weatherholt+and+the+rest+of+the+North+Carolina+Courage+watch+Sam+Mewiss+Ring+of+Honor+Induction+after+their+home+opener.
Anéssa Myers
Tyler Lussi, Ashley Sanchez, Dani Weatherholt and the rest of the North Carolina Courage watch Sam Mewis’s Ring of Honor Induction after their home opener.

  The North Carolina Courage, Cary’s National Women’s Soccer League team, kicked off their 2024 season on March 16. They took on the Houston Dash at home at WakeMed stadium. Millbrook freshman Brighid Lee shared, “I’m excited to see how the Courage do throughout this season since they’re such a well-organized team, and I’m excited to see Casey Murphy’s great saves.” In 2023, the Courage won the NWSL Challenge Cup and ended the regular season in third place. During the offseason, the Courage’s roster went through many changes, and hopefully, their new players will propel them to an even better finish than last year’s.

  The NC Courage lost a few players to the league’s expansion draft for its two new teams: Bay FC and Utah Royals FC. Midfielders Frankie Tagliaferri and Emily Gray were traded to Utah Royals FC early on in the offseason in exchange for protection from the team in the expansion draft and $30K in allocation money. During the draft, goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and forward Tess Boade were chosen by Bay FC. This led to Hensley Hancuff, who had previously been on loan with Växjo DFF, being called back to North Carolina to fill the Courage’s third goalkeeper spot.

  Notably, the United States Women’s National Team defender Emily Fox left the Courage and headed to London to join Arsenal of the Women’s Super League. This seemed to be a big loss for the team, however, the Courage signed German national team fullback Feli Rauch. Rauch made a big impact during their home opener. The Courage made many other important pickups, such as acquiring USWNT midfielder Ashley Sanchez. She was traded by the Washington Spirit in exchange for the NC Courage’s 5th overall draft pick and $250,000 in allocation money. Other players joining the Courage include midfielder Dani Weatherholt from Angel City FC and the Canadian Women’s National Team’s Bianca St-Georges who previously played for the Chicago Red Stars. 

 Eboni Christmas, a producer for the podcast Shea Butter FC that covers women’s soccer, with a focus on highlighting and amplifying Black players through analysis, education, and outreach, shared her thoughts on the new players, “The new offseason pickups will add a bit of stability with this young squad. Ashley Sanchez is probably the biggest off-season trade we made, and she will be the person who takes over a lot of the scoring from Kerolin. BSG is a player who can slot into several spots on the team (mainly forward and defense). We know she can score when she wants, and she will absolutely be pivotal when players are away or injuries occur. After watching, Narumi, Pinto, Sanchez, and O’Sullivan seem to be the formula on attack. Once the forwards can put one in the back of the net, I think Courage will be battling for the top 2 spots in the league.”

  After week one of the 2024 NWSL season, the Courage sit on the top of the table after a 5-1 victory over the Houston Dash. Bianca St-Georges scored a brace, her first goal being just two minutes after she entered the game in the 74th minute and her second being less than ten minutes after the first. The other goals include a successful penalty kick from Malia Berkely that opened the scoring and Haley Hopkins and Dani Weatherholt each putting one in the back of the net. There’s much to look forward to for the rest of the season ahead, and during 2024’s spring through fall you can visit WakeMed stadium and see the North Carolina Courage.

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About the Contributor
Anéssa Myers
Anéssa Myers, Writer
Hey y'all! I'm Anéssa and I'm a sophomore. I play soccer for Wake FC, I dance at CC&CO, and I volunteer with a nonprofit called Addis Jemari. This is my first year on the Cat Talk staff and I'm so excited to give advice on my feature Dear Catty. Also, I love photography and you may see me around campus with my camera :) I hope you all enjoy my photos and writing!

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