NJ/NY Gotham FC defender-midfielder Jenna Nighswonger has been named the National Women’s Soccer League rookie of the month, for May by the NWSL Media Association and the league’s on-air broadcast talent.

Appearing on the backline and in the midfield during the month, the No. 4 overall pick from the 2023 NWSL Draft scored her first career goal on May 7, recording the game-opening tally in Gotham FC’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

The following match, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native added her second goal on May 21, opening the scoring in the club’s 4-1 victory over OL Reign.

Nighswonger’s offensive production included an assist on Lynn Williams’ game-tying goal against the North Carolina Courage, helping secure a road draw.

She appeared in 283 minutes in May , starting in four matches, registering 64 successful passes and winning 16 duels.

The rookie of the month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis, and the NWSL’s on-air broadcast talent.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.