On Friday afternoon, in a rematch of the opening game of the NWSL Challenge Cup, the No. 1 seed North Carolina Courage was knocked out by the No. 8 seed Portland Thorns 1-0.
The Courage outshot the Thorns 21-11 but was unable to capitalize due to an amazing performance from Portland’s backup keeper Britt Eckerstrom who came up big on multiple occasions including a number of stunning saves on Debinha, including this one on a freekick and this one on a breakaway. In total, Eckerstrom made eight saves.
Morgan Weaver, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, cutting in front of rookie right back Addisyn Merrick to latch onto a low cross at the far post and slot it under Katelyn Rowland in the Courage net. The goal was Portland’s second shot on target of the game.
The goal marked the first time the Courage had gone behind in the tournament and was just the second goal it had conceded the entire tournament, with the first coming in the opening game, also against Portland.