Hege Riise scored in the 75th minute to lift
Carolina into a 1-1 tie with the San Diego Spirit on Sunday night,
clinching first place in the WUSA for the Courage.
The tie completed a worst-to-first turnaround for the Courage
(12-5-4), who will play host to a semifinal playoff game next
Saturday against Atlanta.
Riise's tying goal from 13 yards came on passes from Birgit
Prinz and Danielle Fotopoulos.
Shannon Boxx scored from 5 yards out at the 10-minute mark for
San Diego (5-12-4), which finished in seventh place in the
eight-team league. On the goal, Shannon MacMillan set a franchise
record with her eighth assist of the season.
A loss would have left the Courage tied with Philadelphia for
first place and the Freedom would have prevailed on a tiebreaker.