The 2023 USL W League champion will be crowned on Saturday afternoon when Indy Eleven plays host to NC Courage U23 in a game that brings together two sides that have impressed throughout the postseason.
Here’s everything you need to know before kickoff.
Central Conference champion Indy Eleven will face Southern Conference champion NC Courage U23 with the second USL W League title on the line on Saturday afternoon in what promises to be an intriguing contest with major talent on both sides.
Indy (11-1-1) advanced to the Final in thrilling fashion with a 3-2 victory against Western Conference champion SF Glens SC last Friday night as Alia Martin scored the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time to cap a brilliant back-and-forth clash. The hosts had previously seen Addie Chester and Maddy Williams find the net to twice take the lead against the Glens, with each player recording their first goal of the postseason.
An additional key standout for the Girls in Blue during the postseason has been Samantha Dewey, who has notched two goals and one assist so far in the postseason while leading the side with nine goals overall across the regular season and playoffs. That accounts for more goals than Indy has conceded this season, with the side having allowed only five goals in 13 games across the regular season and playoffs.
Dewey’s most important goal of the season came in the Central Conference Final, when her finish proved the difference in a 1-0 victory against 2022 W League Finalist Minnesota Aurora FC – giving Indy a modicum of revenge for its postseason elimination a year ago. Dewey’s inventiveness has also been on show with her clever backheeled goal against Flint City AFC in the opening game of the playoffs illustrative of her capabilities.
The Courage (14-0-1) arrive in Indianapolis with only one draw on their record so far this season after an impressive run through the postseason in the past two weeks. North Carolina claimed a 4-1 victory against Eastern Conference champion Eagle FC in the national semifinals as W League Young Player of the Year Mia Oliaro scored the opening goal and then won a penalty kick that resulted in the side’s second goal of the game, converted on the rebound by Macey Bader.
North Carolina had previously taken shutout victories against both FC Miami City and Tampa Bay United in the Southern Conference Playoffs, with the side having conceded only eight goals in 15 games so far in the regular season and playoffs. Boasting an impressive balance across its squad that includes captain Emily Moxley and leading goalscorer Izzy Brown (8G), the Courage will try to complete an undefeated season with a championship.