Gotham FC head into Olympic break with a 2-1 over Angel City FC in Los Angeles

  • Rose Lavelle continued her great form with her fifth goal of the season
  • Delanie Sheehan scored her first goal of the season
Gotham players celebrate Delanie Sheehan's game winning goal in Gotham's 2-1 win over Angel City.
Gotham players celebrate Delanie Sheehan's game winning goal in Gotham's 2-1 win over Angel City. / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

As the unofficial first half of the NWSL season comes to an end, NJ/NY Gotham FC ended with a high as they took down Angel City FC 2-1 on the road. This was Gotham's second and final meeting of the regular season with Angel City with the first also ending in a 2-1 win for Gotham.

This was an important bounce-back game for the Bats as they had dropped points in their last two games, a loss to the Washington Spirit and a draw against Seattle Reign.

This was also Gotham's last game before the NWSL's Olympic break. After tomorrow's matches, the league will go on a twelve-day break before reconvening on July 19 for the newest tournament, the NWSL x Liga MX Summer Cup. Gotham's first match will be on July 20 on the road against the Chicago Red Stars. This tournament will run for roughly three weeks before another 18-day break before the league returns to regular season play. Gotham's next regular season match is on Saturday, August 24, at home to the Portland Thorns.

Ending on a high

The match started with a couple of high-danger chances from Angel City before Rose Lavelle finished off a fantastic team goal in the 16th minute to give Gotham the early 1-0 lead. An Angel City turnover in midfield eventually led to a series of one-touch passes from Gotham, which culminated in Crystal Dunn finding Lavelle at the top of the box, who then sent a laser off of her right foot into the top corner to goalkeeper Didi Haracic's left.

It was then one-way traffic for Gotham from there before they bagged their second goal in the 40th minute. Similar to their last, Gotham took advantage of an Angel City turnover, this time off of a throw-in. Again a series of one-touch passes found Ella Stevens deep into the box, dragging defenders and the goalkeeper over. This created space for goal scorer Delanie Sheehan to tap home from Stevens' cross-goal pass. Gotham would take this 2-0 lead into halftime.

Gotham would hold onto this lead until a VAR check in the 67th minute found Mandy Freeman guilty of a foul on Gisele Thompson, giving Angel City a penalty kick, which forward Claire Emslie converted for her first goal since May 3 against Utah Royals.

This was all Angel City could muster, however, as despite some late-game pressure, Gotham FC held on to the 2-1 win.

This win helps Gotham just about keep pace at the top of the table as they sit in fourth just seven points behind new leaders Orlando Pride who were able to hand the Kansas City Current their first loss of the season earlier Saturday night. The Bats are also still four points ahead of fourth-place Portland Thorns FC, and have a comfortable cushion above the playoff line as they sit thirteen points ahead of eighth-place Bay FC.

It looks like, barring an almighty collapse, Gotham won't have to worry about squeaking into the playoffs as they did last year and can instead focus on finishing as high as possible to earn those ever-important home playoff dates.

For the Olympics, Gotham FC will be sending seven players, the most of any NWSL team. Tierna Davidson, Dunn, Lavelle, Jenna Nighswonger, and Emily Sonnett all made the USWNT main roster with Lynn Williams joining as an alternate, and Ann-Katrin Berger will be representing Germany this summer in Paris.