Updated: Dec 1, 2022
NJ/NY Gotham FC (12th 4-0-13) falls to the North Carolina Courage (9th 5-4-7 19pts) at home for their 8th loss in a row. 3 of Gotham's 4 wins came away from home. Last win at home was Jun 4th. Here are some takeaways.
It was obvious from the start that the Courage's game plan was to filter everything through Carson Pickett in hopes of crossing the ball in for their tall rookie scoring machine, Diana Ordonez. Ordonez stands at least 4 inches taller than the tallest Gotham FC defender. However, Ordonez was forced to abandon the middle after not being able to get service. Gotham center backs Freeman and Johnson did well to deny service and win their duels. Ordonez lost the most duels on the night with 11 out of 14 duels total. Winning only 1 by air despite not being fouled once. This was a very good performance from the center backs in eliminating the top threat.
Gotham did absolutely enough to get a point here. Gotham despite losing the possession battle created 3 big chances versus 0 that were created by the Courage. The player of the match was Rowland, the back up keeper for the Courage. She will have possibly 2 saves up for save of the week. One on a point blank stop against Monaghan and a world class save on a free header by newcomer Victoria Pickett. It's easy to get down on the result but on the night, it could have easily been 1-1 or 1-0 Gotham.
After last week's dreadful outing it was good to see pro give the game to one of their most experienced refs. Armando Villareal called a good match and took command early. It really took some of the anxiety out of watching this match. We understand that refs are people too and that they all have to start somewhere. But in a league where VAR and goal line technology are not available, having an experienced eye overseeing the game is ultra important. Hopefully the new ref union and increased resources increase the quality of refereeing in this league. VAR arrives next season. Can't come soon enough.