It was scoreless in the 24th minute of NJ/NY Gotham FC’s first-ever NWSL Championship game. The team was employing its hallmark high press on OL Reign when Midge Purce received the ball, dribbled up the right side, nutmegged Phoebe McClernon, jumped over a Jess Fishlock slide tackle, took the ball to the end line and crossed it through the box to a wide open Lynn Williams for Gotham’s opening goal.
It was a thrilling moment in what would be an instant classic match and an eventual 2-1 win for Gotham FC in San Diego on Saturday night.
“I’ve been waiting for a moment like that this year because I haven’t really had one,” Purce said after the match. “It’s been a long year for me personally, for this club and team. We squeaked into playoffs and made it all the way.”
Purce was truly the engine in Gotham’s exhilarating win over OL Reign on Saturday. She notched the assists on both goals, which included a well-placed corner kick straight to the head of Esther González for the winner. In addition to her two assists, Purce boasted six crosses, five successful dribbles, two tackles won, and two clearances. Her performance earned her the NWSL Championship Most Valuable Player award and marked a fairytale ending to an equally exhilarating run to this moment.
This season has not been so linear for the striker. Purce struggled with injury early on this year and was unable to play for multiple weeks of games in the lead up to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, ultimately missing out on a call-up to the tournament.
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