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After Early Goal From Pugh, The Spirit falls to North Carolina

The Spirit jumped out to an early lead thanks to Natalie Pugh’s goal in the opening three minutes of Saturday’s game, but a brace from North Carolina’s McCall Zerboni bookended by goals from, former Spirit stand-out, Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams combined to give the Courage a4-2 victory over the Spirit.

The Washington Spirit (1-2-0, 3 pts.) fell 4-2 to the North Carolina Courage (3-0-0, 9 pts.) Saturday night in front of 3,458 at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

U.S. international forward Mallory Pugh opened up the scoring for Washington. Pugh is coming off a great weekend of play with the USWNT where she netted the 10th and 11th international goals of her young career. On Saturday at the Plex in just the 3rd minute of play, Pugh connected on a right-footed shot from the center of the box. She recovered a loose ball off a deflection in the box and placed the shot in the top right corner of the goal, just past Courage goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo for the 1-0 lead.

The Courage responded with two unanswered goals in a span of four minutes by Dunn and Zerboni to take a 2-1 lead by the 24th minute. Dunn leveled the game in the 20th minute on a goal assisted by Jessica McDonald, and Zerboni found the net in the 24th minute from close range on a strike assisted by Williams.

Early in the second half, Zerboni added to the Courage lead in the 48th minute wit