San Diego Wave fall in first road game of the 2023 season vs OL Reign
The San Diego Wave lost 1-0 against OL Reign in Seattle this Saturday, April 15, in what was the Wave’s first away match of the 2023 season. The Wave had begun the 2023 season with two consecutive wins at Snapdragon Stadium but did have a really tough task for their first road game.
Casey Stoney only made one change to her lineup that she used against North Carolina Courage as Emily van Egmond was unavailable due to an injury. Makenzy Doniak replaced the Australian midfielder in the lineup as the veteran’s absence was felt in the starting 11.
OL Reign dominated the scoreless first half and put out a lineup without one of their best players, Rose Lavelle. However, the Washington-based team still has a very strong team with players like Sofia Huerta, Jessica Fishlock, and Megan Rapinoe on the bench for the first time this season.
OL Reign dominated possession in the first half but, like the Wave, struggled to generate clear scoring plays as they only had one shot on target. Alex Morgan, Jaedyn Shaw, and Amirah Ali all struggled heavily in the first half, with no shots on target in the first 45 minutes.
The second half was much better than the first half, as both teams had much more scoring opportunities and made for a much better contest at Lumen Field. One of the turning points of the match was when Megan Rapinoe came in for Tizarra King in what was her first game of the 2023 NWSL season.
Rapinoe had two of the four shots on target for OL Reign in the second half but was denied by Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan. Sheridan had a fantastic match with four saves, including one save from inside of the box, as she kept the Wave in the game for basically all of the match.
The lone goal of the game came in stoppage time at Lumen Field, as it was a very frustrating match for both the Wave and Reign. The goal came off a stunning strike from outside of the box from Olivia Van der Jagt, who scored with just moments from the final whistle. Van der Jagt is a Washington native who grew up watching games at Lumen Field, as this goal meant a little more to her than anyone on the pitch.
The final goal was a gut punch for the San Diego Wave as they had played much better in the second half as Phallon Tullis-Joyce played an important role for the Reign with three saves in the game. A scoreless draw would have been a great result given the circumstances, but the Wave now comes out of the game with no points from this hard-fought clash in Seattle.
San Diego will now come back home to play its first game in the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup against the Portland Thorns. Then on April 23, the Wave will play its second away game of the 2023 NWSL season as San Diego visits Angel City at BMO Stadium.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.