Jaedyn Shaw stars in Wave’s 2-0 win vs. Utah Royals

Credit: Don De Mars/ EVT Sports

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Credit: Don De Mars/ EVT Sports

The San Diego Wave played their seventh game in the 2024 NWSL regular season against Utah Royals this Wednesday, May 8, at Snapdragon  Stadium.

San Diego was coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against Seattle Reign away from home and were in desperate need of the three points against a struggling, last-place Utah side.

Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, Abby Dahlkemper, Sofia Jakobsson, and Melanie Barcenas were all unavailable for this match due to injuries, while Kristen McNabb was serving a one-match ban for violent conduct in the Seattle game. With all of these absences, Casey Stoney was forced to make some changes that included starting Sierra Enge at centre-back. Stoney also gave 16-year-old Kimmi Ascanio her second-ever start and gave Maria Sanchez her first-ever Wave start in this game.

Jaedyn Shaw was also back in the starting 11 after two consecutive games on the bench and a very slow start to the season. This was a pretty straightforward game where the Wave were clearly the better team and also had the massive home-field advantage. Wave were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute after a handball by Paige Monaghan off a shot by Kimmi Ascanio and Jaedyn Shaw stepped up to take the penalty and give San Diego a 1-0 lead.

Shaw was the first player in franchise history other than Alex Morgan to take a penalty for the Wave. Utah had some good distribution of the ball and managed to hold possession, but the final third was unable to cause any danger or generate much going forward.

San Diego was able to put an end to the contest in the 77th minute with a goal by Makenzy Doniak off a perfect pass by Jaedyn Shaw. Goalkeeper Mandy Haught could have arguably done much better on the play to prevent Doniak’s strike, but it was a well-worked goal by the Wave.

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Casey Stoney’s substitutions played a key role in the result, Kimmi Ascanio only played the first half, as she did in her first start and was replaced by Emily van Egmond, who was able to handle Utah’s experienced midfield a bit better. Ascanio did take the shot that led to San Diego’s penalty, which was a very key moment of the match and her best moment in her very young NWSL career so far. Makenzy Doniak came on for Maria Sanchez in the 70th minute and was able to do much better than the Mexican international in her limited playing time. Sanchez generated some offensive play but was rather unimpressive in her first start with the Wave, as she still adapts to her new team.

Savannah McCaskill was also benched to start this game and came on in the final minutes for Jaedyn Shaw to close the game and hang onto the final result. The win was an absolutely necessary one for San Diego Wave after that crushing defeat in Seattle, in what was a perfect way to start this home stand.

Jaedyn Shaw was the player of the game with her goal and assist, as she progressively gets back into rhythm after a slow start to the season. Shaw needs to be starting and performing for this San Diego side, especially with all of the key injuries still lingering on the team. The Wave will play once again at Snapdragon Stadium this Sunday, May 12, when NWSL champions Gotham FC visit the Mission Valley fortress.

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