Gotham FC scores too late and loses players in loss to the San Diego Wave

-Gotham FC traveled to California to take on the San Diego Wave

-Injuries plagued the team throughout the match

-A goal was scored, but it arrived too late

Gotham FC
Gotham FC / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

NJ/NY Gotham FC and the rest of the NWSL were on a regular season break for over a month due to the World Cup.  Teams still played in the Challenge Cup, but the regular season was on hold until this weekend. 

However, there were questions about whether Gotham’s game would even go ahead.  The team had to travel to California for a Saturday matchup with the San Diego Wave.  The threat of Hurricane Hilary, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday, was moving toward Southern California and was expected to hit the area.  As a result, the game was pushed ahead two hours.

Thankfully, the two sides were able to play.  Unfortunately, Gotham FC fell, 2-1, to San Diego.  The home side ended a nine-game winless streak, and the away side saw their fifth loss of the season. 

It was clear the players not entirely their best selves at points throughout the game, but the fight was there.  The Wave was just the better side in the end. 

Gotham FC fought, but failed to bring home any points

The path to no points for Gotham FC started in the 17th minute.  Makenzy Doniak scored for the home team, and the away ladies were chasing to catch up the entire time. 

In the 53rd minute, it was thought Gotham evened the score line.  Delanie Sheehan put the ball into the back of the net during a chaotic moment in the box, and it was initially called a goal.  However, VAR got involved, and the goal was called off due to a foul.

That did not discourage the ladies, though.  Everyone continued to fight throughout the rest of the match.  But San Diego’s defense would not waver; they blocked shot after shot.  They made clearance after clearance.  It felt like a goal was impossible. 

Then, the Wave grabbed their second in the 85th minute.  The Gotham players were unable to control the ball in the midfield, which led to a giveaway.  15-year-old Melanie Barcenas sent a pristine pass to Amirah Ali. The New Jersey native used her speed to run beyond the defense, and easily put the ball past Abby Smith.

Gotham was able to get one back, but it was too late.  Katie Stengel scored in the final minutes of stoppage time.  It was a beautiful shot too. The forward shot the ball from outside the center of the box and sent it to the bottom-left corner of the goal. 

To make matters worse, Smith, who had an injury scare in the first half, had to exit the game due to injury in stoppage time.  She was not the only player injured though.  Both McCall Zerboni and Midge Purce were substituted out in the first half.  Was the pitch itself to blame or was it bad luck? 

The injuries are a concern, especially for Purce, who missed a good portion of the season due to a quad tear.  Moreover, Smith has been having a great season for Gotham between the sticks.  This is not what the team needs. 

Hopefully, the injuries are not bad for the three players.  Arguably that is not the reason for the loss.  NJ/NY Gotham FC might have put up a great fight, but in the end, San Diego came out on top.