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Midge Purce: Gotham players trust ‘the process’ in playoff run

Gotham FC players celebrate their win against the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL playoffs. (Jaylynn Nash/USA TODAY Sports)

Gotham FC players are trusting the process — and heading to the NWSL semifinals while doing so.

After Sunday’s 2-0 win against the North Carolina Courage, forward Midge Purce was asked by CBS Sports what the milestone meant to her. Gotham FC never before had won an NWSL playoff game. But Purce kept it simple.

“It means we’re going to the semis. I don’t think it’s anything more than that,” she said. “We love what it means, we love what it is and we’re here to play.”

Gotham FC turned in solid defensive performance from top to bottom. Purce led the team with seven duels won, while defender Ali Krieger and midfielder Maitane Lopez each had 16 possessions won.

Lynn Williams, meanwhile, had an assist, won three tackles, and also contributed an interception and a clearance. That might sound like a lot of defense for a forward – and it is.

“We have a lot of defensive responsibilities, more than I’d like as a forward,” Purce said. “But I’m committed to the process and the process works. We love it. We defend as 11, we attack as 11. It’s a huge team win and I’m really proud of everyone.”

And Purce’s teammates agree.

“I think our defensive effort was outstanding as a team,” said midfielder Yazmeen Ryan, who had the team’s second goal of the night on an assist from Williams. “Everybody was tracking back. Everybody was getting back and doing their roles and that’s so crucial in the way that we play and it’s what led to the second goal for sure. And so I think overall our defensive effort and our willingness to get back and then get forward in transition was outstanding.”