North Carolina Courage claim NWSL title with 3-0 win over Portland Thorns

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Jessica McDonald scored two goals to help her side cap off the best season in league history

The North Carolina Courage wrapped up the best season in NWSL history with a 3-0 win over the Portland Thorns in the championship game on Saturday. 

Paul Riley's side set a league record for points in 2018, winning 17 of their 24 games and losing just once. 

In a rematch of last season's title game, Jessica McDonald scored a brace at Providence Park in Portland to deny the Thorns back-to-back championships. 

North Carolina opened the scoring just 13 minutes in as Lynn Williams' cross was deflected onto the post, and Debinha stole in to head into an open goal. 

The visitors doubled their lead five minutes before the break when McDonald got on the end of a bouncing cross, getting just ahead of the onrushing Adrianna Franch to head home. 

McDonald put the game away in the 64th minute, scoring her second of the afternoon with a point-blank header from a Merritt Mathias cross.

With the victory, the Courage became the first team in league history to win the championship after finishing the regular season with the most points. 

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