NJ/NY Gotham FC traveled to Cary, North Carolina on Sunday, October 17, to take on the North Carolina Courage in the pair’s third and final meeting this season. The visitors scored three second-half goals to top the side from the south by a score of 3 to 0 with goals from Margaret “Midge” Purce and Carli Lloyd. The match was presented to Gotham FC fans by Hackensack Meridian Health.
With only three weeks remaining in the NWSL regular season, the three points taken by Gotham FC at Sunday’s game put the team in fifth place in the league standings and above the playoff line with 32 points through 21 games played.
Gotham FC opened the match by testing the Courage keeper, narrowly missing the chance to open the scoring after a scuffle in the box in the sixth minute. The hosts responded with a handful of near chances of their own -- including four by Lynn Williams in the first half -- but were unable to capitalize in front of goal. Lloyd, Ifeoma Onumonu, and Purce all found their way through the Courage backline in dangerous areas as the first half came to a close, causing the Courage defense to scramble to keep the match scoreless.
Eight minutes out from the halftime break, Gotham FC lunged for the lead as Purce finished a misplayed clearance in the center of the box, putting the visitors up 1-0. In the 64th minute, Purce snagged a brace, scoring a rebound off an Onumonu shot after a flurry of activity in front of goal. Then, just three minutes later, Lloyd made it 3-0 after receiving a pass from Estelle Johnson and ripping a low shot from distance, which found its way through traffic, past a diving Casey Murphy, and into the back of North Carolina’s net.
Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made five saves and the Gotham FC backline blocked eight shots to smother the robust North Carolina attack and earn the clean sheet -- the squad’s eighth this season.
Next, Gotham FC will travel to face Kansas City on Friday, Oct. 22. Then the team will play Racing Louisville FC twice, first in Kentucky on Thursday, Oct. 28, and then again at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, Oct. 31. The matchup will be the last of the 2021 NWSL regular season. Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE.
Match: North Carolina Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC
Date: October 17, 2021
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Mid 60s; mostly sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
North Carolina Courage 0 0 0
NJ/NY Gotham FC 0 3 3
NCC: 1-Casey Murphy, 4-Carson Pickett (13-Ryan Williams, 89’), 6-Abby Erceg, 3-Kaleigh Kurtz, 11-Merritt Mathias, 8-Denise O’Sullivan (34-Angharad James, 72’), 21-Cari Roccaro, 25-Meredith Speck (12-Amy Rodriguez, 63’), 10-Debinha (27-Brittany Ratcliffe, 89’), 9-Lynn Williams, 14-Jessica McDonald (2-Taylor Smith, 72’)
Substitutes not used: 7-Diane Caldwell, 20-Lindsay Agnew, 29-Rylee Baisden, 42-Samantha Murphy
NJY: 1-Kailen Sheridan; 28-Imani Dorsey, 24-Estelle Johnson (22-Mandy Freeman, 89’), 12-Gina Lewandowski, 3-Caprice Dydasco; 16-Allie Long, 7-McCall Zerboni, 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (27-Gaëtane Thiney, 82’), 25-Ifeoma Onumonu (19-Elizabeth Eddy, 82’), 10-Carli Lloyd (20-Évelyne Viens, 89’), 23-Margaret Purce (4-Paige Monaghan, 73’),
Substitutes not used: 8-Erica Skroski, 11-So-Dam Lee, 13-DiDi Haracic, 17-Domi Richardson
Stats Summary: NCC / NJY
Shots: 17 / 21
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Saves: 5 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 9
Fouls: 7 / 7
Offside: 1 / 4
NCC — Merritt Mathias (caution) 45+2’
NJY -- Gaëtane Thiney (caution) 83’
Referee: Tori Penso
Assistant Referee 1: Maggie Short
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Charron
4th Official: Shawn Tehini
Budweiser Player of the Match: Gina Lewandowski
About NJ/NY Gotham FC:
Originally named Sky Blue FC, the Club underwent a major rebrand in April 2021 and officially changed its name to NJ/NY Gotham FC. Representing New Jersey and New York, the Club plays its National Women’s Soccer League home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. The Club has been part of the NWSL since the league launched in 2013. Founded in 2007, Gotham FC originally debuted as Jersey Sky Blue in the W-League of United Soccer Leagues. The Club won its first trophy as Sky Blue FC in 2009 after winning the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer championship. Most recently, Gotham FC played in the 2021 Challenge Cup Final against the Portland Thorns, the Club’s first ever championship appearance in NWSL competition.
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