WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 27, 2021) – NJ/NY Gotham FC (2-0-1, 7 pts) were unable to penetrate a resilient Washington Spirit (1-2-1, 4 pts) defense on Tuesday night at Audi Field. The teams played to a scoreless draw and the point on the road was enough to keep Gotham FC atop the table in the Eastern Division.
Similar to previous matches between the two teams, the campaign was a tightly contested affair. Gotham FC had some early chances in the first half including a shot off the post from Midge Purce, but was never able to find the back of the net. The team struggled to connect passes through Washington’s organized defense and be clinical in the final third when the opportunities arose.
Washington dominated possession throughout most of the match and continually demanded answers of Gotham FC’s defense. Centerbacks Gina Lewandowski and Estelle Johnson were bright spots in the match, defending with composure and working to keep Washington’s scoring threat of Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez, Kumi Yokoyama, and Ashley Hatch out of goal. In one of the best scoring opportunities of the match, Hatch nearly broke the deadlock in the 50th minute with a header that rattled the woodwork. Gotham FC goalkeeper, Didi Haracic, put forth another solid performance, earning her second shutout of the Challenge Cup. She ended with four saves on the night.
Gotham FC Head Coach Freya Coombe:
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy coming here. We didn’t have as much possession or quality of possession as we would’ve hoped, but to walk away with a clean sheet, a point and our position in the table, we’re still in a good place going into our final game. We’ve shown that we’ve got some really good moments when we’re firing and I think it’s just having that demand of greater consistency amongst the cohesion of the players.”
With a spot in the NWSL Challenge Cup Final on the line, Gotham FC control their own destiny as they return home on Sunday, May 2 to take on expansion club Racing Louisville FC at MSU Soccer Park. The sold-out match is set to kickoff at 12:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on Paramount+. A win and 3 points would put Gotham clear into the Final. Depending on the outcome of the North Carolina Courage v. Orlando Pride match Saturday night, a tie could also see Gotham into the Championship.
Match: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: April 28, 2021
Venue: Audi Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Low 80s; sunny
Teams: 1 2 F
NJ/NY Gotham FC 0 0 0
Washington Spirit 0 0 0
NJY: 13-Didi Haracic; 3-Caprice Dydasco, 12-Gina Lewandowski, 24-Estelle Johnson, 28- Imani Dorsey; 6-Jennifer Cudjoe (7-McCall Zerboni 69’), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi, 11-Sodam Lee (Elizabeth Eddy 59’); 23-Midge Purce, 10-Carli Lloyd ©, 4-Paige Monaghan (25-Ifeoma Onumonu 59’)
Substitutes not used: 5-Nicole Baxter, 15-Sabrina Flores, 17-Domi Richardson, 20-Evelyne Viens, 21-Amanda McGlynn, 22-Mandy Freeman
WAS: 1-Aubrey Bledsoe; 23-Tori Huster (30-Camryn Begialski 79’), 7-Saori Takarada (3-Samantha Staab 78’), 6-Emily Sonnett, 9-Tegan McGrady (16-Julia Roddar 61’); 19-Dorian Bailey, 12-Andi Sullivan ©, 2-Trinity Rodman, 33-Ashley Hatch, 10-Ashley Sanchez; 17-Kumi Yokoyama (21-Anna Heilferty 61’)
Substitutes not used: 4-Natalie Jacobs, 18-Devon Kerr, 20-Mariana Speckmaier, 24-Chinyelu Asher, 31-Sydney Schneider
WAS – Anna Heilferty (caution) 87’
Stats Summary: NJY / WAS
Possession: 41.1% / 58.9%
Shots: 13 / 19
Shots on Goal: 2 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 6 / 1
Referee: Karen Callado
Assist. Referee #1: Jennifer Garner
Assist. Referee #2: Meghan Mullen
4th Official: Nickrod Fateh
Saker Shoprites Player of the Match: Gina Lewandowski