(CBS New York) – The finals of the National Women’s Football League begin this Sunday, November 7th. The action begins with quarterfinal matches between the fourth ranked Chicago Red Stars and fifth ranked NJ / NY Gotham FC and between the third ranked Washington Spirit and sixth ranked North. Carolina Courage. The previous contest will air on CBS Sports Network and the latter on Paramount +.
The Red Stars, led by Mallory Pugh, Casey Krueger, Sarah Gorden and Kealia Watt, will make their sixth straight final. Gordon, one of the team’s top defenders, has played every minute of the team’s 24 games this season. Gotham FC has football legend Carli Lloyd, who is retiring after the season.
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2021 Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch leads the Spirit against Courage, with star rookie Trinity Rodman and goalkeeper Casey Murphy recording 11 clean sheets this season.
The Portland Thorns FC surpassed the regular-season standings with a record of 13-6-5, followed closely by the OL Dominion at 13-8-3. The Dominion was NWSL’s highest-scoring team. Both won a quarterfinal farewell. Portland will face the winner of the Chicago-NJ / NY showdown. OL will meet the winner of the Washington / North Carolina confrontation. Both semifinal contests will take place on Sunday, November 14 on CBS Sports Network.
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The NWSL final will be played on Saturday, November 20 on CBS.
The Courage will play for its third consecutive NWSL playoff title after winning the championship in 2018 and 2019. The regular season and 2020 finals were canceled due to the COVID pandemic. (The League played a 25-game tournament that summer, known as the Challenge Cup, as well as the Fall Series a few months later.) Chicago, who fell to North Carolina in the 2019 championship, is also returning to the playoffs, looking for a better result.
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Gotham FC appear in the postseason for the first time since 2013 and the Spirit for the first time since 2016, when they made the championship.