With a Dominant 5-1 Victory over Real Central NJ the Baby Goths Record an Exceptional Debut Season
Published Jul 22, 2021
Photo Credits - Sebastian Ramirez


The top four teams in the Metropolitan South Division found themselves in the semifinals of the division title postseason on July 24– three of the four teams entered the league as part of the 2021 expansion team class.

First seed NJ/NY Gotham Reserves was set to host fourth seed PSA Monmouth in match one and second seed Match Fit Academy would host third seed Real Central NJ with the winners of each moving on to championship match.

After a stop-and-start semifinal doubleheader, both matches were called early due to inclement weather resulting in Gotham Reserves’ match reaching only the hour mark and Real Central NJ getting called before half.  The results pushed Gotham Reserves and Real Central NJ through to the division championship on Sunday, July 25 as they were both ahead at the time of the postponement.

With the weather a nonexistent issue during the championship match, Gotham Reserves ran out as 5-1 victors to claim the Metropolitan South Division title in their debut WPSL season.




As per the form they showed throughout the season, Gotham Reserves was quickly able to impose their will on PSA Monmouth to put the match firmly in their grasp at 4-0 before the weather caused a stoppage.

Forward Lumi Kostmayer continued her incendiary form in front of goal, adding to her hat-trick in the final regular-season match by scoring twice within the first seven minutes of this contest.

Duke University forward Mackenzie Pluck added a third after nine minutes, scoring off a feed from University of Buffalo midfielder Ashley Ladner to put the Baby Goths up by three. The ever-reliable offensive creator Hope Breslin set up University of Connecticut forward Elena Santos to put the match beyond all doubt before the match had to be called.

These two previously met early in the season on June 6 for Gotham Reserves’ second match where they fully dominated PSA in a 9-1 victory. Kostmayer, Ladner, and Breslin contributed to five of the nine goals. University of North Carolina midfielder Bella Sember had a stellar performance herself recording a hattrick and an assist.

With Gotham Reserves holding the first seed they would host the title match on Randall’s Island Park in New York.



Real Central NJ’s route to the final went through the tricky Match Fit Academy who they beat 3-1 in their previous meeting on June 6 with goals from forward Kayla Bertolina and midfielders Karyna Vargas and Amerlia Curtis.

With a clean slate and a championship spot on the line, Real Central NJ got off to a strong start with an immediate offensive push that saw forward Raenah Campbell break the deadlock early in the 5’ with a sweetly struck left-footed drive to put them ahead by one.

In the 25’, Real Central NJ was again able to capitalize on their solid attacking play when midfielder Marissa Hart slot home a cross from Princeton forward Tatum Gee to double their lead.

Unfortunately, they experienced weather issues of their own as thunder and lightning rolled in and caused the match to be delayed then eventually called to a halt in the 40’ with the score holding at 2-0 to send Real Central NJ through to the final.



With improved weather, Gotham Reserves hosted Real Central NJ as one of the two sides were set to claim a division title in their inaugural season.

In their previous meeting, the teams battled a tightly contested 2-1 match that saw Gotham Reserves leave with the three points.

Breslin put the visiting side up by one in the 17’ but Real Central NJ quickly responded with a goal in the 25’ from Princeton midfielder Emma Davis.

The score would stay level through the first half and up to final minutes of the match until Sember gave the Baby Goths the lead and win in the 83’.



For this title contest, Real Central NJ came out with the lead first as they looked to establish their style of play early and dictate the match.

After pushing forward right from the whistle, Real Central NJ hit the hosts on a quick counter in the 2’, with Hart picking up possession at mid-field and charging forward to slip in an inch-perfect through-ball into the stride of Gee to finish past Gotham Reserves goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz and open the scoring.

Gotham Reserves crafted their response in swift fashion as Silkowitz showed her sweeper-keeper capabilities by stepping into the play to receive a pass and launch a through-ball into the Real Central NJ backline.

After a miss-hit clearance by the advancing Real Central NJ goalkeeper Chloe Wieczkowski, Kostmayer regained possession for Gotham Reserves in the 7’ and decisively chipped the ball over the stranded Wieczkowski to level the match and to continue her red-hot form in front of goal.

As the first 45’ pressed on, the Baby Goths grew in confidence and began to push Real Central NJ back with more consistency. Entering first-half stoppage time, Gotham Reserves pushed forward looking to head into the break with the advantage – finding it through a familiar outlet.

Attacking down the right-wing their play was broken up as they charged into the attacking third, but Townson University redshirt junior Dani Maggio regained possession swiftly to keep the play moving forward as she found Breslin centrally at the top of Real Central NJ box who would put the Baby Goths ahead for the first time in the match.

The half would end with a 2-1 scoreline giving Gotham Reserves the advantage who would not look back. Coming out of the break, they continued to stamp their authority on the match by maintaining their offensive push and leaving Real Central NJ without many chances.

In the 51’ defender Fatou Doucoure charged forward on the overlap, after receiving a clever through-ball from Rider University defender Niamh Cashin, to slip into Real Central NJ’s box but was brought down by forward Raenah Campbell to win a penalty for the hosts.

Kostmayer stepped up to take the penalty and calmly dispatched the ball into the bottom right-hand corner past Wieczkowski to double Gotham Reserves’ lead. That goal marked the seventh goal in the last three games for Kostmayer, who has finished off an already standout season in exceptional fashion, seeing her finish the campaign scoring in the double-digits.

Gotham Reserves fed on their momentum as they looked to put the game beyond any doubt and were quickly able to add to their tally just three minutes later

With a driving run in the 54’, Pluck moved the ball out to Maggio on the right side and with a deft fake allowing her to wrong-foot her defender, Maggio cut inside and fired a curling effort past the outstretched arms of Wieczkowski into the far side of the net to increase the score to 4-1.

Real Central NJ was given a lifeline in the 65’ when Hart was bundled over in the Gotham Reserves box which gave them the opportunity to cut the deficit in half, but Gee was only able to see her resulting effort cannon off the crossbar for the match remain at 4-1.

Despite Real Central NJ’s efforts in search of a comeback, Gotham Reserves would seal their fate in the 69’ as Breslin took advantage of a counter sending a ball through to Pluck who fired a low shot into the bottom corner to set the score at 5-1 and all but guarantee their title hopes.

Gotham Reserves finished their inaugural campaign with a perfect record in convincing fashion, scoring 31 goals in regular-season and another nine in the two postseason matches while only allowing eight altogether.


   Author: Ryan Lindsay,  @noryannorreason (Twitter)
  WPSL Contributor - East Region