And then there were two! Coming off a pair of hard-fought 1-0 victories in their respective semifinal matches on Sunday, NJ/NY Gotham FC and OL Reign have advanced to the 2023 NWSL Final. The championship match will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11 at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium (8 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+) and is guaranteed to produce a first-time champion, with both Gotham and the Reign looking to hoist the NWSL trophy for the first time.
Gotham secured its spot in the final, the first ever for the club, with a 1-0 win in extra time over reigning NWSL Champions Portland Thorns FC. A raucous and rainy Providence Park was not enough to deter the visitors from the East Coast, who prevailed on a stunning strike by substitute Katie Stengel in the 107th minute. Midfielder Kristie Mewis, who came on late in regulation for Gotham, marking her first action for club or country since the World Cup, set up the game-winning goal. Mewis collected the ball at the top of the area and found an open Stengel, who cut her defender and unleashed a curling attempt into the upper-left corner.
WATCH: STENGEL STUNNER SENDS GOTHAM TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Kelley O’Hara, Lynn Williams and Midge Purce also saw action for NJ/NY Gotham FC in the victory, as did 2019 World Cup champion Allie Long and two-time World Cup winner Ali Krieger, who put in a strong performance on defense in what proved to be the penultimate match of her decorated professional career. One year after finishing last in the league, Gotham will look to close out its remarkable 2023 campaign by winning the club’s first ever NWSL championship and claiming the first hardware for the franchise since 2009 when Sky Blue FC won the WPS Championship.
Standing in Gotham’s way on Saturday will be a determined OL Reign side looking for its first NWSL Championship, having fallen short in its previous two trips to the final in 2014 and 2105. The Reign secured their spot in the 2023 title match with a 1-0 victory on the road over 2023 NWSL Shield winners San Diego Wave FC. Veronica Latsko provided the unlikely game-winner in the 47th minute, finding the back of the net from an impossible angle with a service initially intended as a cross. Rose Lavelle initiated the sequence for the Reign with some impressive footwork on the wing to draw out the defense. She then slipped the ball through to Latsko who took the ball toward the endline before unleashing a right-footed cross that found its way over San Diego goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and settled into the net just inside the far post.
WATCH: LATSKO LIFTS REIGN PAST WAVE
With the lead in hand, OL’s defense – led by Alana Cook, Sofia Huerta and Emily Sonnett - held the potent San Diego attack in check to preserve the shutout win. Megan Rapinoe also went the distance for the Reign in the win and, like her longtime U.S. Women’s National Team teammate Krieger, will now be looking to close out her incredible career with a trophy.
OL and Gotham split their two meetings during the regular season, with each team picking up a victory away from home. The Reign won 2-0 on April 1 at Red Bull Arena before NJ/NY Gotham FC stormed back with a 4-1 victory at Lumen Field on May 21.
While the 2023-24 European season is still in the early stages, Olympique Lyon picked up an important victory in its quest for yet another league title, topping second-place Paris FC 6-1 on Sunday afternoon. The teams entered the weekend level on 15 points, but Lyon’s empathic victory – in which Lindsey Horan played 71 minutes – created some important separation for the reigning champions.
In England, Mia Fishel started and played 57 minutes as Chelsea moved atop the table in the FA Women’s Super League with a 6-0 victory over Aston Villa. Fishel, who scored her first international goal for the USWNT on Oct. 29 in her hometown of San Diego, has made three starts and four appearances for the Blues since joining the club over the summer.
Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.
|Friday, November 10|
|D1 Féminine: Olympique Lyon vs. Montpellier||3:00 p.m.||Ata Football/DAZN|
|Saturday, November 11|
|NWSL Final: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. OL Reign||8:00 p.m.||CBS, Paramount+|
|Sunday, November 12|
|FA Women’s Super League: Everton vs. Chelsea FC||8:00 a.m.||FA Player|