San Diego Wave defeat Seattle Reign for first time in franchise history

Credit: Tammy Ryan/EVT Sports

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Credit: Tammy Ryan/EVT Sports

The San Diego Wave played their second match in the 2024 NWSL regular season this Friday, March 29, against Seattle Reign at Snapdragon Stadium.

The Wave began 2024 winning the NWSL Challenge Cup against Gotham FC but then lost the regular season home-opener 2-1 against Kansas City Current.

San Diego had several scoring opportunities and generated plenty of offensive play against Kansas City, but there were some major finishing issues in the strike force. Casey Stoney made some changes in the Wave’s starting 11 against Seattle, replacing Christen Westphal, Amirah Ali, and Emily van Egmond with Kristen McNabb, Danny Colaprico, and Jaedyn Shaw.

The first half was a very hard-fought clash, with San Diego looking like the better team offensively but nothing to show for it, as the first 45 minutes ended scoreless. Sofia Jakobsson led the attack, generating most of the offensive play for the Wave, while Jaedyn Shaw had a very slow half for her standards. The clearest scoring opportunity for either team in the first half came in the 39th minute when Savannah McCaskill fired a shot that was deflected by Lauren Barnes, who headed the ball towards the post.

The second half remained very competitive and hard-fought, with Alex Morgan going down in the 50th minute due to a hard collision with a Seattle player. Morgan received plenty of support from the home crowd and was fine after some medical attention. A very key substitution for the Wave came in the 58th minute when Emily van Egmond replaced Jaedyn Shaw to add a bit more stability to the midfield against a rigid Reign side.

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Casey Stoney also ended up subbing on Kaitlyn Torpey, Kyra Carusa, and Melanie Barcenas, who all added to the dynamism of the team going forward. van Egmond fired a long-range effort that did not quite make it in the 84th minute, then in stoppage time a goal by Alex Morgan was disallowed. Kyra Carusa crossed the ball to Morgan, who headed the sphere in the net, but the goal was disallowed due to the ball going out of bounds before Carusa provided the cross. It was not clear whether the ball actually left the playing field, and the decision was definitely questionable, to say the least.

However, in the dying moments of the game, San Diego was finally rewarded with a goal by Emily van Egmond to get the historic first-ever victory against the Reign. The scoring drive was a very well-constructed play with several San Diego Wave players participating in it, with Alex Morgan getting the final touch before van Egmond fired it past Claudia Dickey. Snapdragon Stadium exploded in cheer in what was a very well-earned effort by the San Diego Wave for the first three points of the season.

“At the end of the day, I scored the goal, but it’s a team performance,” Emily van Egmond said after being the hero for the Wave in this match. San Diego Wave head coach Casey Stoney talked about defeating the Reign for the first time ever as Wave coach. “We beat them at last. I’m very aware of our record against them. I take a huge amount of pride in the players because I thought they were outstanding tonight.”, Stoney said.

The win was a monumental one for San Diego after failing to win in the home-opener against Kansas City and is one that goes a long way to start the season. There is an upcoming international break for women’s football, as the next game the Wave will play will be at Racing Louisville on April 13.

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