UCLA Alumnae Dominate NWSL Championship – 2023 Recap and Player Achievements

2023-11-12 22:03:17

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UCLA alumnae Delanie Sheehan (2017-20), Taylor Smith (2012-15) and McCall Zerboni (2005-08) won the 2023 NWSL Championship with NJ/NY Gotham FC, who defeated OL Reign, 2-1, at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego Saturday night.

Zerboni is one of just three players in NWSL history to win four NWSL titles, joining Gotham teammate Lynn Williams and fellow UCLA alumna Katelyn Rowland (2011-14). Zerboni won previous titles with the Western New York Flash in 2016 and North Carolina Courage in 2018 and 2019.

Williams scored the first goal in the 24th minute, only to see OL Reign equalize on a Rose Lavelle goal five minutes later. Gotham regained the lead just before the halftime whistle on a header by Esther off a Midge Purce corner kick. NJ/NY held on in the second half despite being goalkeeper Mandy Haught being sent off for a handball outside of the box in stoppage time. Gotham was out of subs at the time and had to put in defender Nealy Martin in goal for the remainder of the game. OL Reign’s free kick after the red card was blocked by the Gotham defense, and they were unable to get another shot on target before time expired.

The championship capped an incredible turnaround for Gotham FC, which finished last in the NWSL standings a year ago.

Sheehan started the game for Gotham and played 82 minutes. Smith and Zerboni were unavailable due to injury. Three other UCLA alumni were part of OL Reign’s roster – starter and captain Lauren Barnes, and undressed reserves Olivia Athens and Marley Canales.

A total of 10 Bruins have won 22 NWSL Championships since the league formed in 2013.

UCLA’s NWSL Champions

Abby Dahlkemper – 2016 Western New York Flash, 2018 North Carolina Courage, 2019 North Carolina Courage
Lauren Holiday – 2014 FC Kansas City, 2015 FC Kansas City
Samantha Mewis – 2016 Western New York Flash, 2018 North Carolina Courage, 2019 North Carolina Courage
Jenna Richmond – 2014 FC Kansas City
Karina Rodriguez – 2021 Washington Spirit
Katelyn Rowland – 2015 FC Kansas City, 2016 Western New York Flash, 2018 North Carolina Courage, 2019 North Carolina Courage
Ashley Sanchez – 2021 Washington Spirit
Delanie Sheehan – 2023 NJ/NY Gotham FC
Taylor Smith – 2016 Western New York Flash, 2023 NJ/NY Gotham FC
McCall Zerboni – 2016 Western New York Flash, 2018 North Carolina Courage, 2019 North Carolina Courage, 2023 NJ/NY Gotham FC

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#Bruins #Win #NWSL #Championship #Gotham

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