NJ/NY Gotham FC wins first regular season game, 3-0, against the Pride

NJ/NY Gotham FC played away against Orlando Pride in a rematch of their final group stage game of the Challenge Cup. The first game for either side in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) regular season saw a dominating performance from the away side and struggles from the home side after a Challenge Cup that saw no real results from either team.

Gotham's Margaret Purce and Imani Dorsey were in the starting eleven for the team after missing the last game of the Challenge Cup. Orlando saw a return from Erin McLeod after missing a majority of the Challenge Cup due to a knee injury. Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger started for the away side as well, making their second appearance at Exploria Stadium after being traded to Gotham in the off-season.

Gotham struck first in the 29th minute with a goal from McCall Zerboni. After McLeod saved Ifeoma Onumonu's initial shot, the ball went out for a corner kick. Kristie Mewis sent the ball in from the right side where Zerboni headed the ball to the bottom left corner past McLeod making the score 1-0.

A minute later, Gotham got their second goal of the match. Dorsey played the ball over the Pride's backline into the path of Purce. Purce took the ball into the box where she drew McLeod off her line and chipped the ball into the back of the net putting Gotham up 2-0.

The game settled for about ten minutes until Gotham got their third goal of the match. Purce played the ball in the box to Mewis's feet where she slots a driven, on the ground ball to the back post giving Gotham a 3-0 lead. Postgame, Mewis stated that she and Purce are getting on the same page and she loves playing with her.

Gotham's defense was exceptional in the first half only allowing one shot on target that was saved by Harris. The teams went into halftime with the home team trailing 3-0.

Coming back from the half, Paige Monaghan was subbed off for Kumi Yokoyama as a precautionary measure. Head coach Scott Parkinson said she came off because she was looking tired and sore. He wants to make sure she's set up for success as much as possible.

The half saw Orlando pushing for goals but Gotham's defense shutting them down. Harris had another three saves to total four on the night, none with a real risk to the keeper. Krieger had 12 clearances on the night to add to the dominant defense Gotham produced.

Parkinson reflected on the game stating the team clicked and it was the first time to have that combination of players on the field. The game ended in a 3-0 win with Gotham taking the three points.

What's Up Next for NJ/NY Gotham FC

Gotham travels to San Diego on May 7 for their game against former Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and Wave FC. The game kicks off at 10 p.m. ET and will be available worldwide on the NWSL's Twitch channel.




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