San Diego Wave defeat Bay FC 2-1 in opening Coachella Valley Invitational match

Credit: San Diego Wave FC

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Credit: San Diego Wave FC

The San Diego Wave played their first match in the Coachella Valley Invitational against Bay FC ahead of the 2024 NWSL season this Tuesday, February 20.

There were four Wave players absent on international duty with the USWNT, as Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, Jaedyn Shaw, and Abby Dahlkemper are all in Carson, Calif., for the W Gold Cup.

Kristen McNabb was also an absentee, as she is still recovering from an injury that will keep her out for four to six weeks. Mackenzy Doniak played at left-back in this match, which is odd for her, as she usually plays much higher up the field. Casey Stoney said after the match that she “trusts” Doniak in that position and that the team currently has no left-back with McNabb’s injury.

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The San Diego Wave came out with a 2-1 victory in this match despite all of the players missing from the usual starting lineup. Elyse Bennett scored the first goal of the match in the first half, which was her first-ever goal with the San Diego Wave after coming over from OL Reign. Bennett scored via a header, which is a trait of hers that will help out the Wave in this upcoming NWSL season.

The wave’s second goal of the day came in the 79th minute when Amirah Ali scored via a shot from inside of the penalty area off an assist by Elyse Bennett. Maya Doms scored the historic goal for Bay FC, which was the first-ever official goal in franchise history.

Elyse Bennett was the best player in this match, as she scored and also provided an assist in what was a positive result for San Diego. The Wave’s next match in this preseason tournament will be on February 24 when they face the Portland Thorns.

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