San Diego Wave defeat North Carolina Courage 3-1 as Alex Morgan nets brace

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Credit: Nicole Noel/EVT Sports

The San Diego Wave played their second game in the 2023 NWSL season this Saturday, April 1, against North Carolina Courage at Snapdragon Stadium. The Wave came away with a 3-1 win in front of a plentiful and vibrant crowd as Alex Morgan was the star of the match with two goals scored.

Coach Casey Stoney made just one change from her lineup that defeated Chicago Red Stars as she replaced Meggie Doughty Howard with Taylor Kornieck. Kornieck played an offensive role in Stoney’s side as she is a very versatile player in the midfield. At times, Kornieck played a more defensive role, but other times she was accompanying Alex Morgan in the attack.

The Wave had their first big opportunity of the match in the 21st minute of the match as a potent shot by Jaedyn Shaw was miraculously stopped by North Carolina goalkeeper Casey Murphy. In the 28th minute, Alex Morgan had her first scoring opportunity of the match as she sent a powerful shot off a free kick just wide to the right of Casey Murphy’s net.

The first goal of the match came in the 38th minute of the match as Jaedyn Shaw was not denied by Murphy this time and put the wave up 1-0 with a strike from inside of the penalty area. Kailen Sheridan played a huge role in the goal as she punted the ball upfield and found Taylor Kornieck, who headed the ball perfectly to Shaw. The goal came from a beautifully constructed play as the Wave took advantage of Kornieck’s aerial ability on the goal.

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The first half was fairly even as both the Wave and Courage had two shots on target, but the home side was able to capitalize better.

The Wave significantly improved offensively in the second half despite having less ball possession than the visiting team. San Diego scored instantly three minutes into the second half as Alex Morgan released a perfect shot in between four of North Carolina’s defenders to put the ball past Casey Murphy and give the Wave a 2-0 lead. Danielle Colaprico heavily contributed in the goal as she robbed the ball near North Carolina’s penalty area to give Morgan the assist on the scoring play.

Credit: Nicole Noel/ EVT Sports

In the 64th minute, a header by Talor Kornieck sailed just over the visitor’s net as the USWNT international had a spectacular match. Two minutes later, Alex Morgan almost made it a 3-0 game as she blasted a ball to the post off a free kick by Emily van Egmond. However, VAR was called after the play as a handball was called on Emily Fox, and a penalty kick was called for San Diego.

Alex Morgan perfectly executed the penalty as Casey Murphy went left, and Morgan kicked the ball right to make it a 3-0 lead for the Wave. North Carolina received a penalty of their own in the 76th minute as Kerolin was wiped out in the area by USWNT defender Naomi Girma. The Brazilian striker executed the penalty to perfection for the visitors, but it was not enough to bring the Courage back into the game.

San Diego improved to two wins from their first two games in the 2023 NWSL season, as their next game will be away from home against OL Reign on April 15. Alex Morgan improved to three goals on the season as the American superstar picked off right where she left off last season. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan alaos had a solid performance in net for the Wave with two saves from inside of the box as she celebrated her 100th NWSL game played in her illustrious career.

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