In what was a wacky first half of soccer, the ball found the back of the net in the first minute after Merritt Mathias sent in a cross that deflected off of a Sky Blue defender. The ball hit the defender and spun into the net over Kailen Sheridan.
In the 12th minute, Abby Dahlkemper was called for a foul while attempting to shield the ball in the box. Sky Blue FC was awarded a penalty kick that was put away by Carli Lloyd.
After two nontraditional goals in the first minutes of the game, neither team was able to score again before halftime. Stephanie Labbé had two saves in the half to keep the score 1-1.
A few minutes after the start of the second half, Kristen Hamilton made things happen for the North Carolina Courage. After taking two shots that nearly went in, Hamilton pressured Sky Blue FC’s defense and slotted a ball to Crystal Dunn who was able to calmly send the ball into the corner of the net.
The assist was Hamilton’s fourth in what has been a standout season for the forward. The goal by Dunn was her sixth of the season.
Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald saw chances in the last minutes of the game, but Dunn’s 57th-minute goal ended up being the game-winner. The North Carolina Courage now have 10 wins and 34 points this season. The team only trails the Portland Thorns by two points and has two games in hand.
Up Next: The North Carolina Courage will travel to the Portland Thorns for a match between the top two teams in the NWSL on Wednesday, September 11 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
The Courage are now 10W-4L-4D with 34 points.
McCall Zerboni reached 12,000 career minutes in the match.
Kristen Hamilton had her fourth assist of the season.
Crystal Dunn scored her sixth goal of the season.
The win was the NC Courage’s fifth win on the road in 2019.
NJ (4-4-2): Kailen Sheridan; Imani Dorsey, Gina Lewandowski, Erica Skroski, Caprice Dydasco; Carli Lloyd, Elizabeth Eddy (Julie James, 83’), Raquel Rodriguez, Sarah Killion ©; Jennifer Hoy (Nahomi Kawasumi, 69’), Paige Monaghan (Amandine Pierre-Louis, 87’)
Subs not used: Dominique Richardson, Estelle Johnson, Didi Haracic, Kenzie Wright
NCC (4-4-2): Stephanie Labbe’; Jaelene Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Abby Dahlkemper, Merritt Mathias; Crystal Dunn (Heather O’Reilly, 85’), Samantha Mewis, Cari Roccaro (Debinha, 46’), McCall Zerboni; Lynn Williams, Kristen Hamilton (Jessica McDonald, 72’)
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, McKenzie Meehan, Denise O’Sullivan, Meredith Speck
NJ: Carli Lloyd (Penalty, 13’)
NCC: Own goal (Erica Skroski, 1’), Crystal Dunn (Kristen Hamilton, 57’)
NJ: Raquel Rodriguez 79’