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Lauletta: Three takeaways from a cracking good NWSL semifinal

(Photo Copyright Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)

In a cracking good semifinal at Providence Park on Sunday, Katie Stengel delivered NJ/NY Gotham FC a berth in the National Women’s Soccer League Championship for the first time, 1-0 winners over Portland Thorns FC in extra time.  Here are three quick thoughts from the rainy match.

Mewis puts in the work

Kristie Mewis had not appeared for Gotham since June 25. First, there was the business of the World Cup. Then she came home carrying an injury. But in the biggest of games, Juan Carlos Amoros called her number in the 80th minute of a scoreless affair. Katie Stengel will rightly be remembered for the highlight-reel goal that vaulted Gotham into the final. But without the work of Mewis, the goal never would have happened.

Gotham had the better of play through much of normal time, but the first 15 minutes of extra time were decidedly Thorns. After briefly regrouping between the sessions, the Thorns looked to attack when Mewis stepped in and won the ball off the normally sure-footed Hina Sugita. Mewis played a quick ball to Sinead Farrelly and then followed up the play in the center of the park. Farrelly made the first attempt to play a ball to Stengel but Sam Coffey slid in the way to break up the pass. Unfortunately for the Thorns they were never able to control possession and the second bounce went to Mewis, who quickly played the ball forward to Stengel. Here is the rest, just in case you missed it, or just really want to see it again.

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