Jessica McDonald: “I think three-nil at the half, it doesn’t get any better than that, but we wanted to seal the deal with another goal. ” (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
CARY, N.C. — Minutes after the North Carolina Courage polished off the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League final Sunday, forward Jessica McDonald put the 4-0 victory in perspective.
“I think it comes from the core of this team and what it’s all about,” she told ESPN at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
“We knew it was all or nothing at this point, especially in front of our home crowd. The only thing we wanted to do is work on what we’re good at. We took complete control of the game. I think three-nil at the half, it doesn’t get any better than that, but we wanted to seal the deal with another goal. And that’s exactly what we did.”
McDonald, a member of the U.S. women’s national team that won the Women’s World Cup this summer, scored the Courage’s second goal for a two-goal margin.
North Carolina won its second consecutive NWSL crown and third in four years. McDonald said the team has a winning culture under head coach Paul Riley and his staff.
“We’re the Courage,” she said. “I mean, we give a lot day in and day out. I think it’s a camaraderie on and off the field that truly helps this team, shape the team into what we are. Obviously, the grit that we give every single day comes from our coaching staff and how dedicated they truly are at their jobs. It starts from them and we just apply it in training and into games.”
Riley has had a motto this season: lay the tracks.
“We were looking forward to the train tracks leading us to something great, which is exactly what happened this evening,” McDonald said.