The North Carolina Courage kicked off their NWSL Challenge Cup campaign on a high, dominating Gotham FC 2-0 on Saturday.

Putting Gotham FC under pressure early, the Courage notched their go-ahead goal in the 22nd minute when Brianna Pinto nodded in Carson Pickett’s looping cross. Pinto, the third overall pick of Gotham in the 2021 NWSL Draft, was traded to the Courage in December, bringing her closer to her hometown of Durham, N.C.

The Courage kept the pressure on Gotham, doubling their lead in the 51st minute when Abby Erceg struck a loose ball off a Courage corner past Ashlyn Harris for the 2-0 advantage.

The Courage will travel to take on the Orlando Pride on Saturday after earning three points in the Challenge Cup standings. Gotham, one of the favorites entering the tournament, will look to get back on track on Friday against the Washington Spirit.