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OL Reign and North Carolina split points in scoreless draw


The season opener between the Courage and OL Reign was a keepers’ showcase. Reign’s Karen Bardsley and North Carolina’s Casey Murphy each came up big for their respective teams in the 0-0 tie.

While the matchup was devoid of goals, it certainly wasn’t short on chances.

The barrage of scoring opportunities started in the game’s opening minutes and didn’t stop until the final whistle.

North Carolina nearly took the lead in the second minute, but Abby Erceg’s header off a Courage corner was denied by the crossbar.

The Courage had another near-goal in the 56th minute. This time, it was Bardsley who blocked Kristen Hamilton’s close-range shot.

The Reign had some close calls of their own. In the 69th minute, Megan Rapinoe faked out a defender to get the ball on her right foot for a shot, but it rocketed off the post.

The Reign came charging back again in the 74th minute, when Murphy stopped what looked to be an inevitable goal in dramatic fashion.

With neither side able to convert their goal-scoring opportunities, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

OL Reign next face the Portland Thorns on Sunday. North Carolina returns home to host the Orlando Pride on Saturday.