Gotham FC had plenty to celebrate on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – First-half goals from Jenna Nighswonger and forward Lynn Williams powered Gotham FC to a 2-1 National Women’s Soccer League victory over the Chicago Red Stars to close out the club’s three-match road swing at SeatGeek Stadium on Sunday.

It was the club’s first win over the Red Stars since 2021, and made Gotham FC one of only two teams in the league with four wins this season.

“This is a massive win. It shows the style and the winning mentality that this team has,” Gotham FC head coach Juan Carlos Amoros said in a statement. “In the back of three away games in a week where we needed everyone to step up, everyone stepped up. And today, in the first half, it was fantastic. [In the second half], we were tired after the long week, but the team never gave up. Keep going, keep going, keep working and we were able to win away from home. Credit to all of the players, whether they played today or not, and to the staff. This is a big win for Gotham.”

Nighswonger, the team’s first round draft choice, scored the first NWSL goal in the fifth minute for a 1-0 lead. Her goal marked the club’s fastest goal to date this season. It also was Gotham FC’s first goal first-half goal this campaign. Nighswonger was the sixth rookie (fifth NWSL draftee) to score in this season.

“It was all about [Taylor Smith] doing really well, getting the 1v1, having the cross, and just putting myself in a good situation where if there’s any rebounds…just being there to get a tap in, which is kind of just what happened,” Nighswonger said. “I’m excited to have gotten the start at left wing and to have made an impact.”

Wiliams solidified the visitors’ lead, scoring her 61st regular season career goal and taking sole possession of the second place in goals in NWSL history. Her goal in first half stoppage time snapped a tie with Christine Sinclair. It also was Williams’ 103rd career goal contribution in all NWSL competitions. Sinead Farrelly’s assist was the midfielder’s first NWSL assist since August 2015, when she assisted on a Portland goal, also against Chicago.

Goalkeeper Mandy Haught made her regular season debut with three saves, playiing the full 90 minutes for the first time in league play this season. On April 19, Haught earned her first start of the year and played the full match in the NWSL Challenge Cup action, posting a 1-0 shutout over the Washington Spirit.

“We have an absolutely fantastic goalkeeper union,” Amoros said. “Mandy has been outstanding at training and she was very very good in difficult conditions, especially in the second half.”