Lynn Williams breaks the NWSL goal-scoring record after Gotham FC wins 2-1

  • Gotham FC welcomed the Chicago Red Stars to New Jersey for a Sunday evening game
  • The Bats secured a 2-1 win thanks to Lynn Williams and Ella Stevens
Lynn Williams of Gotham FC
Lynn Williams of Gotham FC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, NJ/NY Gotham FC welcomed the Chicago Red Stars to Red Bull Arena.  The team was coming off a draw against San Diego Wave FC, which was their first point ever against the California team.  They were also unbeaten over their last four games entering this weekend’s fixture.

Defensively, Gotham FC has been superb and has allowed the least amount of goals in the NWSL.  However, they have struggled to score, where they have scored one goal or none in all of their NWSL matches.  This is puzzling with the talent they have in the final third and midfield.  Understandably, they have not been known for their goal-scoring.  They should still have more goals in 2024.

There was some excitement once the Starting XI was released: Rose Lavelle got her first start of the season.  This was well awaited, for the USWNT star was one of the biggest signings of the season.  At the same time, Crystal Dunn found herself on the bench again, despite the impact she can have on the team.  Juan Carlos Amorós is known for rotation; surprisingly, the New York native has been in and out of the starting lineup.

Finally, in the ninth game of the season, Gotham FC scored two goals to win 2-1.  Lynn Williams also broke the record for the most goals in all NWSL competitions.  This win extended their unbeaten streak to five.

Gotham FC won 2-1 after Lynn Williams broke the NWSL record

The first half was decent from Gotham.  They maintained most of the possession and had solid passes, especially in the midfield.  There was some good buildup as well when the ladies made their way into the final third.

The issue, as one can expect, was in the attack.  The Bats had some good passes and crosses into or near the box.  Their presence in the attack was threatening.  Yet, they struggled to create shots from their work in the final third.  Any shots that occurred were off-target or lackluster.  They were not threatening the Red Stars’ backup goalkeeper, Mackenzie Kay Wood, who was in goal for the injured Alyssa Naeher.  In other words, they should have put the pressure on the player.

The second half was better on the offensive end.  Gotham was more threatening in the final third and started to make Wood work between the sticks.  As such, this led to a goal in the 57th minute.

Jenna Nighswonger made a run on the left side of the pitch and picked out Esther González in the box.  The Spanish forward, who was on an awkward angle, swept the ball to Williams, who headed it into the back of the net with ease.  This was her 79th goal, subsequently breaking the NWSL goal-scoring record in all competitions. 

William’s goal was an incredible moment, but Gotham FC was not the only team that became a bigger threat in the second half.  Ann-Katrin Berger and the defense were put to work and mostly did well.  Berger made an incredible save in the 53rd, where she came off her line to block a shot by Mallory Swanson.

She could not stop the tying goal, which was a rebound effort by Penelope Hocking after a good save by Berger right before.  The Chicago player saw an opportunity in front of the goal and put it away in the 74th minute. 

In the 85th minute, Williams had a shot at putting the Bats ahead again.  Ella Stevens sent a pitch-perfect pass to the record-breaker, but she completely missed the kick.  Nighswonger also had a chance in the 86th, but her shot was deflected out for a corner.  Again, the attacking effort was better, but Gotham FC looked like they were about to settle for another 1-1 draw.  But Stevens had another idea.  

The team had a corner kick, and Nighswonger picked out the former Chicago player.  She swept the ball into the box, and Stevens headed the ball into the goal to win the match for her team in the 90th minute.  This was a vital goal, and the Bats were able to hold on and win.

Gotham FC has one more game before they head into the international break.  The win at home will ideally be a confidence booster where they will begin to score more goals.  Hopefully, they will continue their unbeaten run when they visit Bay FC this Friday.