3 things we learned from Gotham FC's great road win against Bay FC

  • Gotham FC and Bay FC played one another for the first time
  • The Bats won 2-0 to win their second match in a row
  • Here are three things we learned from the game
Gotham FC
Gotham FC / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, it was a late game for NJ/NY Gotham FC fans as the Bats traveled to California for a 10 PM start.  The team played Bay FC for the first time ever, looking to welcome them to the NWSL in style.  The home team’s fantastic offense combined with the visiting side’s defense meant there were high expectations for an entertaining game.

Meanwhile, Gotham FC was on a five-game unbeaten streak.  They just defeated the Chicago Red Stars in a historic 2-1 win that saw Lynn Williams break the NWSL scoring record.  Juan Carlos Amorós interestingly sat her on the bench against Bay FC and instead opted for Ella Stevens, who scored the winning goal against Chicago.

This change worked out for Gotham.  Stevens scored both goals to lead the Bats to a 2-0 win over Bay FC.  They came during the first half, while a brilliant performance by the defense kept the home team out of goal.

This was a great way to end the month before the international break.  Here are three things we learned from Gotham FC’s win.

3 things we learned from Gotham FC’s 2-0 win

1. Ella Stevens is proving her worth

When Gotham FC first signed Stevens, there was not a lot of buzz.  It was thought she would be utilized for depth, especially with the offensive talent on the roster.

However, the forward continues to make an argument for herself to not only play, but start games.  She has scored four goals in her last three fixtures, including the two against Bay FC.  Notably, her first goal would be considered a striker’s goal.  She may have started on the wings, but after a quick free kick, she was right in front of the goal.  This allowed her to tap the ball in the back of the net with ease, for no one was in front of her.

The second goal was just brilliant, for Stevens pickpocketed the ball from Bay’s goalkeeper, Katelyn Rowland.  She made the move to try and play the ball out of the back rather than clearing it.  As such, Stevens saw her chance, stole the ball, and walked it into the goal.  It was just too easy.

Nevertheless, Stevens has been scoring, and that is what Gotham FC needs.  She can play as the center-forward and on the wings, so Amorós could easily rotate the front line as needed.  The newer forward has proven her worth and could start more matches as the season progresses. 

2. Ann-Katrin Berger had too many injury scares

Gotham FC might have won the game, but concerns surrounded Ann-Katrin Berger throughout the match.  The goalkeeper needed treatment three times during the 90 minutes. 

At first, there was concern about Berger’s thumb in the first half.  After grabbing the ball, she went down awkwardly and requested someone to take an immediate look.  Alas, she was okay until a collision with Racheal Kundananji early in the second half.  This required treatment to her lower leg, but the veteran remained in goal.

Then, after a superb 80th-minute save, Berger went down again due to her leg.  Everyone thought that would be it, and Cassie Miller would have to come in.  That was not the case though, for the German international player remained in the match until the final whistle.

Berger took a beating in San Jose.  It was amazing that she went down so many times but did not come out.  It appears she is okay, but only time will tell.  At least the international break is next.  Hopefully, she is healthy enough to join Germany, but if she cannot, then at least there are a few weeks to recover.

3. The Gotham FC defense is incredible

Gotham FC has an incredible defense, but fans already knew that.  However, it was confirmed again during the Bay FC game.  The home team was a major threat on the attack, but the Bats limited their chances.  They should have had more than nine shots, but the visitors had other ideas with their clearances and interceptions.

As a result, Berger had very little work to do in the save department, for she had two saves on the night.  Her alertness and work led to numerous catches of the ball and a few clearances outside of the box.

Still, Gotham FC managed to get a clean sheet and a win.  Stevens’ goals secured the three points, but the backline kept Bay FC from taking any of the points.  The stellar defensive performance makes one wonder whether it is okay that they are not the best at scoring.  Likely, that is not the case, but the defense can win matches.