Recap: Spirit Sweeps Regular Season Series Versus Gotham FC, Continues Best Start in Club History

Washington Spirit  |   June 23, 2024

Harrison, N.J. (06/23/2024) – The Spirit defeated NJ/NY Gotham FC, 2-0, in a clash between two of the NWSL’s top four teams. After a timely goal from rookie Courtney Brown and Gotham playing with ten players, the Spirit was able to leave with a clean sheet and earn a sweep of the season series against the reigning NWSL Champion.

Gotham FC controlled the opening minutes of this highly contested match. The first opportunity came in the fourth minute when Mandy Freeman lasered a ball only inches above the goal. Later, Spirit keeper Aubrey Kingsbury was drawn out of the net, but Andi Sullivan stopped a Gotham FC shot on goal.

A major moment in the first half occurred without the ball when Trinity Rodman collided with Tierna Davidson. The Spirit forward later returned to the pitch following a long break.

The first Spirit shot of the match proved decisive. Croix Bethune sent a perfectly weighted pass to fellow rookie Courtney Brown who then buried the ball in the back of the net for her first career goal.



With the goal, Brown joins Bethune, Hal Hershfelt and Kate Wiesner as Spirit rookies who have scored this season. The four goals by rookies are the most of any team in the NWSL. Additionally, the assist increases Bethune’s lead in the Spirit record books as the all-time single-season leader with nine. She moves into a tie for second-most in NWSL history, joining Lauren Holiday (2013) and Nahomi Kawasumi (2017). Bethune accomplished this feat in just 14 matches. Nine assists are also more than any single player recorded during the entire 2023 NWSL regular season.

The Spirit’s second shot was nearly another goal. Just past the half field line, Rodman whipped a cross to Bethune, calling Gotham keeper Ann-Katrin Berger out of net. Berger whiffed leaving Bethune with a wide-open goal. She planted and sent a ball from well outside of the box, but the ball dribbled mere inches off the wide post.

As the first half progressed, so did the physicality of the match. Players were hitting the dirt one after another. This culminated in the 54th minute when Gotham’s Yazmeen Ryan was awarded her second yellow card of the half and was sent off the field, leaving Gotham FC with just ten players as the halftime whistle blew.

Moments into the second half, the Spirit almost immediately picked up its second goal. The goal was the result of a superb build up play beginning with Kingsbury. Casey Krueger then took a long run before passing to Rodman who buried the ball in the back off the net from the right corner of the 18-yard box. This is Rodman’s fourth goal of the season and 19th regular season goal of her career, third-most in Spirit team history.



Rodman continued applying pressure. In the 57th minute, she sent in a ball that – much like Bethune’s in the first half – skipped just by the wide post, nearly extending the Spirit lead.

The Spirit utilized the player-up advantage to heavily possess the ball and drain crucial minutes off of the clock. While out-possessing Gotham in the second half, the Spirit maintained over 87% passing accuracy.

In the 88th minute, Gotham earned the chance it needed to get back into the game when a penalty was awarded following a Spirit handball inside the box. However, Kingsbury proved heroic, stopping the attempt. The save marked her second consecutive penalty kick save this season. She now has seven in her career, putting her in sole possession of third-most in NWSL history.



With the 2-0 victory, the Spirit now extends its unbeaten streak when leading at halftime to 27. Additionally, this marks the first time in team history that the Spirit has won three straight road matches. Along with the series sweep of Gotham FC, the Spirit secured its most wins (10) and points (31) through 14 games of an NWSL regular season.

Next up, the Spirit returns home to face another east coast rival in the North Carolina Courage. This match, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. EDT, will be the Spirit’s annual Pride match. Fans can get their tickets to the Spirit’s last match at Audi Field until August 18 at


-NWSL Match Report- 

Match: Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2024 

Venue: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.) 

Kickoff: 6 p.m. EDT 

Weather: Sunny, low-90s 


Scoring Summary: 

Goals  0  0  F 
NJ/NY  0  0  0 
Washington  1  1  2 

WAS – Courtney Brown – 26’ (assisted by Croix Bethune) 

WAS – Trinity Rodman – 47′ (assisted by Casey Krueger) 



GFC: 30 – Ann-Katrin Berger; 6 – Emily Sonnett; 12 – Tierna Davidson; 22 – Mandy Freeman (25 – Maycee Bell – 86’); 14 – Nealy Martin (7 – McCall Zerboni – 61’); 16 – Rose Lavelle (8 – Taryn Torres) – 61’); 17 – Delaine Sheehan; 2 – Jenna Nighswonger (13 – Ella Stevens – 87’); 18 – Yazmeen Ryan; 19 – Crystal Dunn (3 – Bruninha – 86’); 28 – Katie Stengel 

Unused Substitutes: 1 – Michelle Betos; 21 – Sam Hiatt; 38 – Cassie Miller; 77 – Maitane Lopez 

WAS: 1 – Aubrey Kingsbury; 3 – Casey Krueger; 5 – Annaïg Butel; 9 – Tara McKeown; 14 – Gabby Carle; 17 – Hal Hershfelt, 12 – Andi Sullivan (26 – Paige Metayer – 65’); 7 – Croix Bethune (22 – Heather Stainbrook – 90 + 1’); 16 – Courtney Brown (6 – Kate Wiesner – 75’); 11 – Ouleye Sarr (33 – Ashley Hatch – 65’); 2 – Trinity Rodman (13 – Brittany Ratcliffe – 75’) 

Unused Substitutes: 28 – Nicole Barnhart; 8 – Makenna Morris; 39 – Chloe Ricketts; 4 – Lena Silano 


Stats Summary: GFC / WAS 

Shots: 10 / 12 

Shots On Goal: 4 / 7 

Saves: 5 / 4 

Tackles Won: 10 / 18 

Fouls: 11 / 11 

Offsides: 2 / 2 


Misconduct Summary: 

WAS – Ouleye Sarr – 15’ – Yellow Card 

GFC – Nealy Martin – 35’ – Yellow Card 

GFC – Yazmeen Ryan – 39’ – Yellow Card 

GFC – Yazmeen Ryan – 54’ – Yellow Card (Red Card) 

WAS – Kate Wiesner – 78’ – Yellow Card  

GFC – Crystal Dunn – 86’ – Yellow Card 

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