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Match Recap: Gotham FC Falls 2-0 to Washington Spirit

By Gotham FC Communications, 04/20/24, 4:15PM EDT


WASHINGTON D.C. (Saturday, April 20, 2024) - NJ/NY Gotham FC traveled to the Washington Spirit on Saturday at Audi Field in the nation’s capital, where the club fell 2-0 after maintaining a 52.4% advantage in possession.
In the opening moments of the match, as both teams exchanged chances, Gotham FC goalkeeper Cassie Miller was called upon early in the 17th minute, when Spirit defender Casey Krueger found forward Trinity Rodman down the sideline. With the Gotham FC defense closing down the angle, Miller covered the near post to force Rodman’s shot wide. 
Gotham FC created an opportunity of its own in the 28th minute, when forward Esther turned a defender on the left flank and served the ball towards teammate Lynn Williams in the box. However, it was just off target for Williams to connect and went through untouched. 
The Gotham FC defense continued to stall chances from the Spirit. One minute later in 29th, Rodman sent a ball in behind the Gotham FC back line for a shot by Ouleymata Sarr, who was denied by a quick reaction save from Miller.
In the 31st minute, Bruninha came up with a huge defensive effort after Rodman touched the ball past Miller, who came off her line and was outside the box. The Brazilian defender closed the space to make the tackle to deny an open-goal opportunity for the Spirit. 
The Spirit found the back of the net in the 41st minute, when Croix Bethune found space in the middle of the field, where she took a prep touch and scored from long range to the near post. 
Then in the 50th minute, Lynn Williams found Esther for a shot from distance that was caught by Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury.
The Washington Spirit scored its second and final goal of the match in the 70th minute on an Ashley Hatch penalty kick after video review confirmed a handball in the box. 


Overall takeaways from the match
“I feel that we as a team have to come together this week and just go for the win the next week.”
– Defender Maitane 
On Tierna Davidson’s injury
“This is soccer. These kinds of things happen unfortunately. It was on my mind that I was sad for her, but we had to keep moving and keep playing the game. So we just helped Sam [Hiatt] to step in and just try to keep going with the game and with a good mentality.”
– Defender Maitane 
Overall takeaways from the match and the team’s performance
“We’re surprised that we didn’t play to our potential this game. I think that we can go back to the drawing board and see where everything went wrong. I don’t want to speak on everything right now because I think emotions get high and the ability to have a second and see what actually did break down. But the exciting part about that is that we do have an amazing team and we know that we didn’t play to our potential. So, going back to the drawing board, going back to training like [Maitane] said is the most exciting part for us. We have another game. We have to look forward, and if we dwell on this too long, then we won’t be prepared for the next game.”  
– Forward Lynn Williams  
Overall thoughts on the match 
“Again, I think we started quite well. Then, very early obviously, we have the injury from Tierna; we need to readapt the team. I think that took us a little bit of time. Then, they scored that goal from [outside] the box. Then, I think the team on the ball needs a bit more clarity because we go again into those situations, but compared to last week, we didn’t create enough clear chances to  win the game.”
“We were regaining the ball in good areas, but we need to be a little bit better. But  technically, today wasn’t our best day, something we work on everyday, obviously. We need to make sure we are better on the ball because I think the options were there. Sometimes it was the execution, and on the back of that we weren't really good on that counterpress, so that got us a little bit in trouble. But you know the good thing was that the team never gave up.”
Key Match Notes

  • Maycee Bell made her regular season debut.
  • Sam Hiatt made 14 passes into the final third of the field, passing her previous regular season career best of nine.
  • Jenna Nighswonger made 19 passes into the final third of the field, breaking her regular season career high of 14.
  • Emily Sonnett won possession 12 times, most on either team.
  • Lynn Williams made her first NWSL start of the season and wore the captain’s armband.

Washington Spirit vs. Gotham FC
April 20th, 2024 – Audi Field
Goals by Half               1       2          F
Washington Spirit          1       1          2
Gotham FC                    0       0          0          
Scoring Summary:
WAS: Croix Bethune, 41’(Casey Krueger)
WAS: Ashley Hatch 69’
Misconduct Summary:
NJY: Emily Sonnett (55’, YC), Jenna Nighswonger (70’, YC)
WAS: Hersfelt (71’, YC), Butel (86’, YC)
NJY: Cassie Miller, Bruninha (Bell, 75’), Tierna Davidson (Sam Hiatt, 21’),  Maitane, Jenna Nighswonger, Emily Sonnett (Stevens, 75’), Yazmeen Ryan, Delanie Sheehan (Nealy Martin, 60’), Lynn Williams © (Crystal Dunn, 60’), Katie Stengel, Esther 
WAS: Aubrey Kingsbury, Casey Krueger (Wiesner, 90+’) , Annaïg Butel, Tara McKeown, Gabrielle Carle, Hal Hershfelt, Andi Sullivan, Ashley Hatch (Ricketts, 90+’), Croix Bethune (Brown, 90+’), Trinity Rodman, Ouleymata Sarr (Ratcliffe,76’)