TAMPA, Fla. - The USL W League’s exciting and record-breaking season will conclude this Saturday, July 22, when the 2023 W League final takes place at Micheal A. Carroll Stadium with Indy Eleven hosting NC Courage U23. Kick off for the match is slated for 2 p.m. ET.
The 2023 USL W League Final will be streamed on Eleven Sports and tickets can be purchased here.
How we got here:
Indy Eleven 3, SF Glens 2 – In front of an electric crowd, Indy Eleven’s Alia Martin grabbed the winner in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to lift the hosts to victory against SF Glens in a contest that went back and forth throughout before the Girls in Blue claimed a thrilling victory.
The Glens opened more brightly, but Indy opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Addie Chester followed up after Ella Rogers’ initial effort was blocked by a defender to fire home at the second attempt. The visitors answered five minutes before the halftime break, however, when their leading scorer Nadia Gomes netted a beautiful free kick from almost 30 yards that found the bottom-left corner of the net to leave the game level after 45 minutes.
Indy jumped back ahead five minutes into the second half after a turnover of possession in the Glens’ half saw Katie Soderstrom quickly find Sam Dewey in the center of the field before Dewey played a precise pass into the path of Maddy Williams for a sharp first-time finish into the right corner. Once again, the Glens responded on a brilliant finish by left back Camryn Penn, who joined the attack in the 64th minute and curled a shot from 25 yards into the top-right corner of the net to even the score.
Williams had a chance to put Indy back on top with 16 minutes to go when she was denied by an excellent save from SF Glens goalkeeper Isa Banuelos. As the contest appeared set to head to extra time, however, the Girls in Blue grabbed a winner as Williams’ cross from the right was controlled with a header by Maisie Whitsett into the path of Martin, whose looping header dropped over Banuelos and under the crossbar to claim a dramatic victory.
IND: Addie Chester 14’
SF: Nadia Gomes 40’
IND: Maddy Williams (Sam Dewey) 50’
SF: Camryn Penn (Nadia Gomes) 64’
IND: Alia Martin (Maisie Whitsett) 90+1’
NC Courage U23 4, Eagle FC 1 – A trio of first-half goals paved the way for NC Courage U23 to claim victory against Eagle FC as Mia Oliaro, Macey Bader and Mackenzie Geigle each found the net to put the hosts out of reach at WakeMed Soccer Park.
North Carolina took control of the game from the off and made the opening breakthrough in the 22nd minute when Oliaro received a pass from Lauren Martinho near the top of the penalty area and rifled a low shot into the bottom-left corner of the net.
The hosts got the chance to double their lead from the penalty spot two minutes later when Oliaro was brought down in the box. Eagle FC goalkeeper Sydney Davis denied Bader’s shot to the right corner from the spot only to be ruled to have left the goal line early resulting in a retake. Bader’s retake was also saved by Davis to the left corner, but the rebound came back to Bader who scored on the second opportunity.
Geigle added a crucial third just before halftime as she found space on the left side after a pass forward by Brookyln Holt and cut into the penalty area before curling a shot into the right corner of the net. Eagle pulled a goal back midway through the second half when Nia Christopher scored from close range off a cross from the left by Courtney Butlion, but Emily Moxley iced the game for the hosts with nine minutes to go with a penalty kick to the top-left corner of the net that left Davis little chance.
NC: Mia Oliaro (Lauren Martinho) 22’
NC: Macey Bader 26’
NC: Mackenzie Geigle (Brooklyn Holt) 45+2’
EFC: Nia Christopher (Courtney Butlion) 64’
NC: Emily Moxley (penalty kick) 81’