Midge Purce scored Gotham’s first two goals. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)

CARY, N.C. – Midge Purce bagged a brace and Carli Lloyd added a goal as NJ/NY Gotham FC recorded a 3-0 National Women’s Soccer League win over the host North Carolina Courage Sunday afternoon.

Gotham improved to 8-5-8 and 32 points while North Carolina (32) fell to 9-9-5.

“In my opinion, I think [Gotham] had a 10-minute spell of momentum and put three goals in, and it happened really fast,” North Carolina’s Cari Roccaro said. “When you’re looking at the clock and it’s 3-0, you have nothing to lose at that point and you have to just try and do anything to get a rhythm back, and we did our best. I thought there were times where we held our own and times where they picked us apart, so I think it was just a back and forth thing. It’s definitely a good test, and Carli’s just unbelievable. She’s still got it.”

After ending the half deadlocked at 0-0, Purce broke the ice for the visitors. Following a poor clearance in the Courage box, Purce intercepted the ball to slip a shot past Casey Murphy at close range, giving Gotham the upper hand in the 54th minute. She added her second goal 10 minutes later, capitalizing on a deflection to double Gotham’s lead.

In her last appearance at Sahlen’s Stadium before her retirement, Lloyd collected her third goal of the season in the 67th minute, slotting a shot into the lower 90 .

“I felt we were okay in the first half,” North Carolina head coach Sean Nahas said. “I thought we created some good chances and we settled into the game. Players did what was asked of them in terms of possession. Once they scored, you could just see we could never get back in. I always think there are positives, I look at the first half especially and I thought we had four really good chances, I felt we minimized errors and balanced out the game. Scoring goals has been hard to come by at the moment. I told the players after the game that we just have to keep processing everything and keep pushing, but one thing I will say is that the group never stopped battling and they never stopped competing. That’s enough for me to take and build and bring into Portland.”