San Diego Wave FC continued their winning ways thanks to two set piece goals in a 2-1 victory over the Orlando Pride. The win marks San Diego’s first win on the road since June 4 and their first-ever against Orlando.
Now, with 27 points, the Wave are second in the NWSL standings before the rest of the league plays their game for the weekend. Abby Dahlkemper and San Diego native Kyra Carusa scored the two goals in the match in what Carusa said was treated like a cup final and is a massive win at this point in the season.
The first goal happened in the seventh minute and came off a corner kick set piece in which Jaedyn Shaw sent the ball to the center of the box, which was initially deflected toward Alex Morgan, who tried to shoot it but was blocked by Pride defenders. The blocked ball went toward Abby Dahlkemper, who controlled the ball with her chest before sending a strong shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down and in to make it 1-0.
The goal marks Dahlkemper’s first goal with the Wave, first in the NWSL regular season since 2016, and first non-penalty kick goal in her NWSL career.
“(Dahlkemper’s) come back, and it’s a huge breath of fresh air. She’s been incredible over the last few weeks or so since she was cleared to be in training,” Assistant Coach and Head of Goalkeeping Louis Hunt said after the match in place of Head Coach Casey Stoney, who was given a red card in the 89th minute of the match for kicking a ball further away while sitting on her cooler when the ball was out of play.
“She’s been bright, she has been confident, (and) you can see the quality oozing out of her. So for her to get that nice little bonus of a goal as well and helping us win is brilliant because of her performance in the last two games.”
The game was by no means done there as the Orlando Pride have been one of the Wave’s toughest opponents in all their meetings and equalized before the end of the first half.
The goal came with an assist from the legendary Brazilian player Marta Vieira da Silva, who faked out Meggie Dougherty Howard just outside the box to get a clean look and cross it to fellow Brazilian forward Adriana Leal Da Silva on the far end of the box. She was left wide open as the Wave defense did not have her marked, allowing Adriana to head it in easily to equalize at 1-1.
It seemed the Wave would be stuck with another tie with Orlando as there were not many great offensive chances during the run of play. However, the Wave scored again via a corner kick set piece in the 75th minute. Kyra Carusa came on as a substitute for Jaedyn Shaw, leaving Makenzy Doniak as the designated corner taker. Doniak sent the perfect ball high and up for Carusa in the box to jump and head it in for the game-winner, making it 2-1.
“Both of our goals this evening showed our grittiness, Our ability to dig and be turned on and be locked in during those key key moments,” Carusa said. “I mean, what a ball from Makenzy Doniak. my goodness, it just felt so right that ball came in and sat for me so well.”
Stoney will be unavailable for their next match because of the red card suspension when they play one of their last five regular season matches to play Houston Dash at Snapdragon on Sunday, September 3.
Abraham Zepeda is a bilingual Chula Vista Native covering the Tijuana Xolos for EVT. He spent the summer of 2022 covering San Diego Loyal SC and San Diego Wave FC. He is also currently a student at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in journalism.