NJ/NY Gotham FC returned to Red Bull Arena on Saturday to face the Chicago Red Stars for the first game back after the international break. Gotham lost 3-0 to the away side after a very disjointed first half. Gotham now sits 10th in the NWSL standings.
This was also the final match for defender Gina Lewandowski who was set to retire. Lewandowski got the start as a central defender for the first time this season. Other changes saw Kumi Yokoyama and Cameron Tucker starting for the home side. The Red Stars had quite a few changes as well. Samantha Fisher got the start up front and Emily Boyd was in goal while notable players Mal Pugh and Alyssa Naeher were away with the USWNT.
— Scott Parkinson (@parkinson_scott) July 2, 2022
The first half saw a very disjointed home side with few promising attacks. Boyd was challenged in the 4th minute by Tucker, but the corner kick that followed contained nothing that would worry the Red Stars.
The first goal came in the 16th minute from Sarah Lubbert. A strong shot gave Ashlyn Harris no opportunity for the save. Minutes later in the 25th minute, Chicago was on the board again. Vanessa DiBernardo slotted the ball to the far post way out of reach of Harris.
At halftime, Gotham made two substitutions: Taylor Smith and Jenna Bike for Tucker and Yokoyama. Both players brought the energy the team needed for a better second half.
For the best scoring chance for Gotham, Lewandowski had a perfect diving header off of a free kick. The chance was ultimately saved by Boyd but was an excellent opportunity for the home side to gain some energy.
— Lehigh W. Soccer (@LehighWSoccer) July 3, 2022
For the final goal of the match, Ella Stevens heads the ball right past Harris to make the final score, 3-0.
Even though Gotham lost, Lewandowski had a stellar performance to top off her career. Bike also had an incredible Gotham debut contributing to the attack and dropping with the defense.
Head coach Scott Parkinson commented after the game saying he got the first half all wrong. "It's tough to go down like we did," he said.
Lewandowski was also available for comments after the match. She said she's feeling a lot of mixed emotions and stated, "I think it'll some time to reflect and process everything and focus on my next chapter." She says she will definitely be staying in the game and looks to give back to the game as well.
What's Up Next for NJ/NY Gotham FC?
Gotham takes on Racing Louisville on July 8 at 8 p.m. at Lynn Family Stadium. You can watch NJ/NY Gotham FC on Paramount+.