Gov. Roy Cooper signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 15, 2018 a day in recognition of the North Carolina Courage when hosting the soccer team at the North Carolina Executive Mansion on Wednesday.
Cooper invited the Courage to the mansion to celebrate the team winning the National Women’s Soccer League Shield, awarded to the regular-season champions of the league, for the second year in a row and to recognize its recent Women’s International Champions Cup victory.
“We are here to recognize some of the finest athletes in North Carolina,” Cooper said. “...To the women of the North Carolina Courage, keep on inspiring us through this season and beyond.”
The Courage defeated Olympique Lyon 1-0 in the final of the first ever Women’s International Champions Cup on July 29 and claimed the regular-season title of the NWSL just a week later.
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Cooper specifically recognized players on the Courage who went to local colleges for their performance in the team’s recent accomplishments and for giving the team “a local flare.”
“Fellow Tar Heel Heather O’’Reilly [scored] the winning goal,” Cooper said. “We also have a couple of other Tar Heels -- Crystal Dunn and Jessica McDonald -- and we do have a former Blue Devil: Morgan Reid.”
Cooper thanked North Carolina Football Club and Courage owner Steve Malik for his role in bringing a NWSL team to North Carolina. Malik spoke for a few minutes before presenting Cooper with a Courage jersey.
Also in attendance of the celebration were young girls from soccer teams around the area, whom Cooper hoped would be inspired by the Courage’s recent success.
“Today we join dozens of young soccer players from schools around the region, and they have been inspired by your accomplishments,” Cooper said. “For them, your victories are a sign of opportunity, examples of what you can achieve when you rise above the fear of the unknown and give it your all. To the young women here today, I want them to keep chasing your dreams - on and off the field.”