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Match Recap: Gotham FC Defeats Angel City 2-1 on Saturday

Gotham FC extends unbeaten streak to seven matches behind goals from Crystal Dunn and Rose Lavelle

HARRISON, NJ – NJ/NY Gotham FC extended its unbeaten streak to seven matches as the club defeated Angel City FC 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. Forward Crystal Dunn recorded her first goal of the season and midfielder Rose Lavelle notched her second of the season. Additionally, Gotham FC midfielder McCall Zerboni made her first appearance since suffering a season-ending injury on August 19, 2023. 

After the first 10 minutes of the half, Gotham FC settled in and began to connect in the final third. In the 17th minute, goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger cleared the ball to forward Ella Stevens, who received it at midfield. Stevens played fellow forward Dunn down the right flank, who then found Lavelle on a through-ball into the box. Lavelle went one-on-one with Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, who denied the opportunity. 

Gotham FC found the opening goal in the 26th minute from a beautiful buildup out of the midfield. Midfielder Delanie Sheehan found forward Yazmeen Ryan as an outlet on the left flank. Ryan then drove across the field and found Dunn on the opposite side of the box, where Dunn dribbled in and fired a shot into the far bottom corner. 

Berger was called upon in the 38th minute to make an impressive save. Angel City forward Lily Nabet fired a shot at the top of the box and it took a deflection back towards the near post. Initially diving towards the back post, Berger made the adjustment for the kick save at the near post.

Berger went on to make a series of crucial saves to close out the half. First in the 47th minute, the German goalkeeper denied Angel City defender M.A. Vignola at the near post. Then a minute later, Angel City forward Alyssa Thompson dove for a crashing header at the back post, where Berger was prepared for the pure reaction save to keep Angel City scoreless at the half. 

Angel City opened the second half with a goal from Clarisse Le Bihan in the 51st minute.

Despite the equalizer, Gotham FC continued to connect and push forward. In the 62nd minute, Lavelle found the club’s second goal of the day. The Cincinnati native combined with Sheehan inside the box, and buried a shot at the near post. 

In search of a third goal, defender Jenna Nighswonger lofted in a shot in the 93rd minute, but the goalkeeper just barely tipped it into the crossbar. 

After 12 minutes of stoppage time, the game came to a close at Red Bull Arena in favor of the home team. 

###

POSTGAME ASSETS 

Key Match Notes

  • Gotham FC is now undefeated in its last 17 matches (14-0-3) when leading at the half, improving to 4-0-1 this year, and undefeated in its last 20 matches when scoring first.
  • Gotham FC shut out its opponent in the first half for the eighth time in 11 regular season games this year and scored for the seventh straight home game.
  • Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger improved her record to 5-0-2, matching goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan (2021) for the longest undefeated run for a goalkeeper in club history.
  • Forward Crystal Dunn scored her first Gotham FC goal and her first ever in the regular season against Angel City FC. She has now scored against 13 different NWSL clubs, one short of the league record. She has 39 goals in her regular season career, tied for 14th with current Utah head coach Amy Rodriguez in the league all-time rankings. She also becomes the 15th player to score for four or more clubs.
  • Defender Mandy Freeman made her 81st appearance in the regular season, moving into sole possession of sixth in club history.
  • Midfielder Rose Lavelle put away her second goal of the season, tying her rookie year of 2017 for her second-largest output in a single season.
  • Midfielder Yazmeen Ryan passed out her team-leading third assist of the season and ninth of her regular season career to set up Crystal Dunn’s opener.
  • Midfielder Delanie Sheehan picked up her first assist of the season, giving her an assist in each of her four NWSL seasons, all for Gotham FC. Her five regular season assists now tie her for 10th in club history.
  • Defender Emily Sonnett completed 42 of her 45 passes (93.3%), her fourth game of 93% or higher since May 8.
  • Forward Ella Stevens set a career high with five shots (including blocks).
  • Midfielder McCall Zerboni played for the first time since August 19, 2023.

POST MATCH QUOTES

Gotham FC forward Crystal Dunn
On McCall Zerboni’s return… 
We have celebrated McCall up into this moment, and I think it just speaks to her as a person, as a teammate and as a competitor. Every day, we see her working hard, lifting the team up on days that I know are difficult for her, whether it’s a setback with her progression or just, you know, an off day, she is somebody that gives so much to the environment. Seeing her dress today was amazing, and then seeing her step onto the field and doing the things that she has always done in this league, I think it’s so incredible. It is amazing to know her, to be able to now play with her, and I just know her journey hasn’t always been easy, today was such a special moment, and I’m just happy as a teammate that I was able to be there celebrating her.

On her first Gotham goal…
I know the ball comes down to the left side to Yaz and she’s able to cut inside, a crafty player, obviously. For me it was just staying wide, keeping the width, but wide enough where I’m not outside the goal frame. I think for her to have that vision, to be able to see me and for me to settle the ball and just take a shot, I think it’s almost ‘Soccer 101’. It’s such a collective effort like I said before, I’m obviously always happy to score goals, but I know it comes from earlier plays that allow me to be in the best position to be successful.

Gotham FC defender Mandy Freeman 
On continuing success from the championship last season to the seven game win streak now…
I think that’s one of the best things about this club is that we’re always striving for more and better and even though we reached the pinnacle of what a lot of people think is success, we still wanna be able to repeat that. For us, that success is being able to show up every game and perform so it’s not just a one-off. We wanna show up and compete every single day and win and hopefully every game. We just wanna keep that momentum going and keep building, it’s a long season, it’s a long year, and we just want to keep this momentum going throughout the season because the most important games are gonna come towards the end of the season. 

On her 81st regular season appearance and 100th appearance across all competitions for the club…
Wow, that’s my first time knowing about that. I think that’s a great achievement. I think longevity in this sport and any athletic sport is really hard. It takes a lot mentally and physically, so I’m really grateful to be able to have that achievement. I couldn’t do it without my people behind me and that’s the team, that’s Cloud 9, that’s all of my supporters that are seen and unseen, and I’m just really thankful for this moment. 

Gotham FC Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós
On the success of the team…
“I think that the success comes down to the work the players are doing and the staff, obviously trying to prepare them behind the scenes from the first day of preseason. Obviously the results weren’t there, but I thought we were doing good. I think everyone that comes to the games sees how the team players. The players go from the first minute to the last, giving it all. They are super disciplined tactically. I think that everyone can feel the freedom that they have on the ball…”

On measuring the cohesion of the team… 
 “I think it is difficult to measure because there are so many things – opposition, expected goals. You can go with a lot of different things. The main thing is that feeling from start to finish how many times we have chances… I think there is the organization of the backline, when they are called into action. We spoke a lot at halftime of how important our situational high press, the behavior of our backline to facilitate that. I think it is very important that it is a team effort. We saw again today stuff that we work on. Crystal and Yaz were excellent to start with. I think they really tried to push wide and attack forward. And Katie coming into the game on that left side. They were all committed to the cause. That is why we are able to defend the way we defend. Respect to the backline Tierna, Emily and Ann were fantastic. It was a difficult game.”

MATCH SUMMARY
Gotham FC vs. Angel City FC
June 8, 2024 – Red Bull Arena

Goals by Half      1     2     F
Gotham FC          1     1     2
Angel City            0     1     1

Scoring Summary:
GFC: Crystal Dunn (Yazmeen Ryan) 26′, Rose Lavelle (Delanie Sheehan) 62′
LA: Clarisse Le Bihan (Alyssa Thompson) 51′

Misconduct Summary:
GFC: YC: Mandy Freeman 24′
LA: YC: Madison Curry 41′

Lineups:
GFC: Ann-Katrin Berger, Emily Sonett, Tierna Davidson ©, Mandy Freeman (Mandy Freeman 90+3′), Nealy Martin (Maitane López 63′), Rose Lavelle, Delanie Sheehan, Jenna Nighswonger, Ella Stevens (McCall Zerboni 77′), Yazmeen Ryan (Katie Stengel 63′), Crystal Dunn (Esther González 63′) 

LA: DiDi Haracic, Meg Reid, Madison Curry, Gisele Thompson (Jasmyne Spencer 63′), M.A. Vignola (Meritt Mathias 75′), Lily Nabet, Raquel Rodríguez (Madison Hammond 63′), Clarisse Le Bihan (Kennedy Fuller 75′), Sydney Leroux, Alyssa Thompson, Claire Emslie © (Messiah Bright 71′)

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