Gotham FC extended their unbeaten streak to six with the 2-0 victory over Bay FC

  • Gotham FC won their first meeting with Bay FC, holding them scoreless in a 2-0 win
  • Ella Stevens continued her great form with two goals
Gotham FC
Gotham FC / David Gonzales-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, NJ/NY Gotham FC earned the win in their first visit to the California Bay Area as they held the high-scoring Bay FC scoreless in a 2-0 victory. This win saw their unbeaten streak extend to six games and was the second in succession in which they scored multiple goals. They head into the international break fifth in the table as of Friday, firmly in the playoff picture with a game in hand on the teams ahead of them.

Gotham's defense held strong once again, earning their fourth clean sheet of the season, tied with four other teams for the league lead, and their first since May 8 against the Houston Dash. Despite pressure early on and at the end of the game, the Bats held Bay to zero shots on target in the first half and just two for the game as a whole.

Offensively, the team is starting to come alive. After an early bout of pressure from Bay FC, Gotham FC had the lion's share of the offensive chances for the last 30 minutes of the first half. This pressure proved fruitful as the visitors scored their two goals in quick succession thanks to some quick thinking and clever play.

The first goal came in the 31st minute as Delanie Sheehan caught the entire Bay FC team napping as she quickly took a free kick in the attacking third, finding Esther González in the six-yard box. The striker put the ball on a platter for Ella Stevens who tapped it in for her third goal of the season.

Gotham FC beats Bay FC thanks to Ella Stevens

She did not have to wait too long for her fourth of the season as just two minutes later she managed to swipe the ball from the feet of Bay goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and walk the ball into the net to give Gotham FC a 2-0 lead.

That was all the Bats needed despite a late-game bout of pressure from Bay FC. It was not enough to get them back into the game as Gotham left NorCal with all three points.

In addition to Stevens, this game saw great performances from Ann-Katrin Berger, Jenna Nighswonger, Rose Lavelle, and Maycee Bell. Without the goals, Bell could have been the player of the game as the rookie had her best performance in a Gotham shirt.

The young defender made her third start of the season and her second in a row, once again as a right-back. She led all players on both teams in tackles with seven, with the next highest being just three. She also led all players in duels won with 10, two more than the next highest total.

Not only is this great to see as Gotham may have found another gem in the draft, but with Kelley O'Hara currently out injured and the team healthy at center-back, Bell gives a good account of herself while not playing her best position. It gives the team another tactical wrinkle for head coach Juan Carlos Amorós to take into account moving forward.

The NJ/NY side is back in a form similar to what was seen when they were playing at their best in last year's championship-winning campaign. The stingy defense has been there all season, but the offensive performances started to improve during the match against Racing Louisville FC.

After what was their worst performance of the season when they lost 2-0 to the Washington Spirit at Audi Field, there has been a shift in Gotham's offensive game plan. In the fixtures up to their loss to the Spirit, their performances weren't necessarily bad, but they were seemingly too passive to make things click offensively.

This can be attributed to a championship hangover, the large injury list to start the season, vetting in all of the new acquisitions, or all of the above plus more. That being said, it surely can't be too much of a coincidence that things turned around the game after this team had hit their lowest point in recent memory.

Since then, they have been more than willing to take the game to their opponents offensively, while remaining sturdy defensively. And it is not like they were playing bad teams during this stretch; three of these teams are currently in a playoff spot.

Things are really starting to click for Gotham FC. They go into the international break with all of the momentum that they can hopefully maintain when they return on June 8 at home against Angel City FC.