U.S. national team teammates Carli Lloyd (left) and Crystal Dunn will meet on Yurcak Field Saturday. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Saturday’s encounter between the North Carolina Courage and Sky Blue FC will be a battle between the haves and have nots of the National Women’s Soccer League.

The first-place Courage (13-1-3, 42 points) is on the brink of clinching a playoff spot while the last-place and struggling Sky Blue FC (0-11-3, 3) is a sure bet to miss out of post season play.

North Carolina will need to defeat the New Jersey side at Yurcak Field at 7 p.m. ET and then see a few of results go its way to become the first league team to reach the postseason.

Sky Blue FC will need a miracle to reach the playoffs as its tragic number to be eliminated is nine. Without any help from the other eight NWSL teams, the Jersey team will miss the postseason if it loses nine points.

The match will mark the third meeting of the season between Sky Blue FC and the Courage. The two clubs met at WakeMed Soccer Park in April, playing to a scoreless draw until second-half stoppage time. North Carolina broke through in the 92nd minute on a Jaelene Hinkle to Jessica McDonald connection, which secured a 1-0 result.

The second pairing took place at Yurcak Field in May, with the Courage grabbing a 2-0 halftime lead. Sky Blue FC pulled one back when Carli Lloyd finished a Sarah Killion ball in second-half stoppage time in what turned into a 2-1 defeat.

Last week Sky Blue FC fell to the Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field in a 3-1 setback as rookie forward Imani Dorsey scored her first professional goal. North Carolina, which features Rockville Centre, N.Y. native Crystal Dunn, had a midweek match-up Wednesday, blanking the Washington Spirit, 2-0, at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Historically, the overall series with the Courage stands at 3-1-1 in favor of North Carolina, with the Courage holding a 1-0-1 edge at Yurcak Field.

In other Sky Blue FC news, midfielder Daphne Corboz has completed her loan with FC Fleury 91, but the New Jersey native will remain in France for the remainder of the NWSL season to continue pursuing her medical studies.

2018 NWSL PLAYOFF PICTURE

#

Team

Pts.

GD

GR

Max Pts.

Magic No.

Elimination No.

1

North Carolina Courage

42

23

7

63

5

2

Seattle Reign FC

29

6

8

53

18

3

Orlando Pride

25

0

7

46

22

4

Chicago Red Stars

25

3

7

46

22

5

Portland Thorns FC

23

4

8

47

23

6

Utah Royals FC

21

-3

8

45

21

7

Houston Dash

20

-5

8

44

20

8

Washington Spirit

10

-13

7

31

7

9

Sky Blue FC

3

-15

10

33

9