Gotham FC went to the top of the NWSL table for the first time since 2013 after beating OL Reign 4-1 on Sunday.
OL Reign 1 Gotham FC 4
Gotham FC secured a dominating 4-1 victory over the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners OL Reign on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle. With four goals scored by four different goal scorers, Gotham FC has ascended into first place in the National Women’s Soccer League standings with 16 points.
Report from Gothamfc.com
The scoring started early, when in the 10th minute, midfielder Jenna Nighswonger, who started at defense, cranked a shot from distance, burying the ball into the bottom right corner. Nighswonger was assisted by midfielder Kristie Mewis. The goal marks Nighswonger’s second of her rookie season and the second time she has scored in the first half after she opened the scoring in Gotham FC’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars on May 7.
Two minutes after Nighswonger’s goal on Sunday against OL Reign, Gotham FC forward Lynn Williams beat her defender, putting Reign goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce on her heels in a one-on-one in the box to score in the back left corner of the goal. It is the fastest in club history that Gotham has scored two goals in a regular season match.
Gotham FC’s third goal came in the 38th minute, when midfielder Sinead Farrelly passed the ball to forward Delanie Sheehan, who played in forward Taylor Smith. Smith struck her shot from the center of the box, sinking the ball into the left side.
In the 24th minute, Gotham FC goalkeeper Abby Smith – NWSL Player of the Week presented by Bud Light – made a huge save after Reign forward Jordyn Huitema broke through the defense for a shot from the left side to preserve the 2-0 scoreline. She came up with another first-half save in the 44th minute, grabbing a shot from Reign forward Bethany Balcer to maintain the club’s clean sheet through the first half.
In the second half, the goalkeeper made another crucial save in the 59th minute, coming out to block Balcer’s shot on a counter attack.
Scoring the club’s fourth and final goal was Gotham FC and Brazilian National Team defender Bruninha, who notched her first NWSL career goal after striking from close range to bring the score to 4-0.
Gotham FC goalkeeper Abby Smith made multiple big plays to foil OL Reign’s attempts at scoring. However, in the 77th minute, Reign forward Huitema finished off a corner kick for the 4-1 final result.
With Sunday’s performance, Gotham FC became the first NWSL team to score three goals against OL Reign in the first half. The last time Gotham FC scored four or more goals was April 20, 2021 against North Carolina, where the final score was 4-3.
Attendance at Lumen Field was 8,146.
After an away game against the Washington Spirit next Sunday, May 28, Gotham returns to Red Bull Arena on Sunday, June 4 for a Pride Night match against San Diego Wave.
GOTHAM FC STARTING LINEUP
Abby Smith, Taylor Smith, Ellie Jean, Ali Krieger (C), Bruninha, Delanie Sheehan, Sinead Farrelly, Kristie Mewis, Nealy Martin, Lynn Williams, Jenna Nighswonger
GOTHAM FC SUBSTITUTIONS
Kristen Edmonds (Ellie Jean – 46’), Yazmeen Ryan (Taylor Smith – 66’), Ifeoma Onumonu (Delanie Sheehan – 81’), McCall Zerboni (Sinead Farrelly – 81’), Svava Rós Guðmundsdóttir (Kristie Mewis – 90’)