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Match Recap: NJ/NY Gotham FC Leads Offensive Production, Falls 1-0 to NC Courage

By Gotham FC Communications, 03/30/24, 10:15PM EDT


CARY, N.C. (Saturday, March 30, 2024) - NJ/NY Gotham FC controlled the offensive opportunities, leading 15-6 in shots, 7-2 in corner kicks, and 27-10 in crosses, but the club fell 1-0 to the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday in Cary, N.C.
Gotham FC’s high press pinned the Courage on its heels for a large portion of the first half, as the visitors led 6-4 in shots and 4-1 in corner kicks. From a strong possession sequence to several close chances in the opening minutes, Gotham FC continued stringing passes together and sending in dangerous set pieces to remain on the front foot through the final moments before halftime. 
In the ninth minute on a set piece in the final third near the left endline, Bruninha sent a lofted ball into the box that defender and captain Tierna Davidson flicked just wide of goal. Then, in the 17th minute, a corner kick to the near post found Esther, who fed the ball to the top of the box for a long-range shot from Bruninha that went just high of the top corner.
The Courage earned its first dangerous chance in the 34th minute when midfielder Ashley Sanchez received a ball from the right wing and took a first-touch, low-driven strike that went wide left of the goal. 
In the 41st minute, Gotham FC had a near chance when forward Yazmeen Ryan – who assisted the game-winner against the Portland Thorns last week – set herself up just outside the top of the box to fire a screamer from distance that rattled off the middle of the crossbar. 
With Gotham FC owning the momentum, the Courage broke the deadlock in the waning minutes of the first half, when Ryan Williams came down the right flank and served a cross into the box that Sanchez headed down for a toe-poke by Brianna Pinto in the 44th minute for a 1-0 lead at halftime. The goal marked North Carolina’s one and only shot on goal of the match. 
At the start of the second half, both teams came out with end-to-end action for the opening 10 minutes before Gotham FC again dominated the dangerous chances in the final third. With opportunities to equalize the scoreline even into the final moments, Gotham FC came close, but could not find the back of the net. The match finished 1-0. 
Gotham FC now prepares for its regular season home opener and 2023 NWSL Championship banner unveiling on April 14 at 6 p.m. ET at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey to host the Kansas City Current. Tickets are available at


Key Match Notes

  • Tierna Davidson made her first start as captain for Gotham FC. Saturday’s match also marked Davidson’s 50th NWSL appearance and start.  
  • Nealy Martin made her 50th career NWSL start in all competitions.
  • Jenna Nighswonger’s 90 touches were two short of her regular season career high.
  • Kelley O’Hara made her 90th career regular season appearance for Gotham FC, the third player at the club to reach that plateau.
  • Delanie Sheehan’s four shots in the match are the second-most in a single-game of her career.

NC Courage vs. Gotham FC
March 30th, 2024 – WakeMed Soccer Park
Goals by Half               1       2          F
NC Courage                  1       0          1
Gotham FC                    0       0          0          
Scoring Summary:
Brianna Pinto (44’)
Misconduct Summary:
Gotham FC - Crystal Dunn (54’)
NC Courage - Kaleigh Kurtz (61’)
NC Courage - Bianca St-Georges (61’)
Gotham FC - Taryn Torres (90+7’)
Cassie Miller, Bruninha (Kelley O'Hara, 76’), Tierna Davidson, Sam Hiatt (Taryn Torres, 84’), Jenna Nighswonger, Emily Sonnett (Maitane López, 65’), Nealy Martin (Ella Stevens, 76’), Delanie Sheehan, Crystal Dunn (Katie Stengel, 65’), Esther González, Yazmeen Ryan
NC: Casey Murphy, Felicitas Rauch, Malia Berkely, Kaleigh Kurtz, Ryan Williams, Victoria Pickett (Tyler Lussi, 64'), Brianna Pinto (Manaka Matsukubo, 75’), Bianca St-Georges (Haley Hopkins 74’), Denise O'Sullivan, Ashley Sanchez (Riley Jackson, 90+1’), Ashley Sanchez, Dani Weatherholt (Narumi Miura, 64’)