NJ/NY Gotham FC secured their first-ever NWSL playoff victory with a 2-0 win over the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park. The crucial goal came just before halftime when Delanie Sheehan, a midfielder, found the back of the net.
Despite the Courage dominating possession in the first half, Gotham displayed a strong defensive performance and limited their opponents to just one off-target shot. Meanwhile, Gotham had six shots, with one on target. Their star forward, Kerolin, was sorely missed as she was unavailable due to an ACL injury.
In the second half, both teams intensified their offensive efforts. Tyler Lussi created numerous chances for the Courage, but Gotham’s defense remained resolute. As the game progressed, Gotham managed to even the possession and found success through Midge Purce and Yazmeen Ryan. In stoppage time, Gotham secured their second goal.
This victory marks Gotham’s first-ever NWSL playoff win in their third postseason appearance. Delanie Sheehan’s goal is a historic moment for the club. Gotham’s next challenge is on November 5, when they face the Portland Thorns for a spot in the NWSL Championship.
Notably, Ali Krieger, a two-time Women’s World Cup winner like Megan Rapinoe, will have the opportunity to extend her career by playing in the upcoming game against Portland. Gotham’s attacking trio of Purce, Esther Gonzalez, and Lynn Williams played a pivotal role in their success, but their strong defensive efforts were equally crucial. They limited the Courage to just five shots and 0.31 expected goals. However, they face a tough task in the next match against the Thorns, who feature Golden Boot winner Sophia Smith.