San Diego Wave remain undefeated with 2-1 win over Chicago Red Stars

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Credit: Cali Camera

The San Diego Wave (3-0-0) defeated the Chicago Red Stars (1-0-1), 2-1 Sunday afternoon, May 15.

San Diego made two lineup changes from its previous 4-0 victory against Gotham FC – Amirah Ali starting for Sofia Jakobsson, who was wearing a cast during the match, and Kaleigh Riehl starting for Abby Dahlkemper.

“Small fracture I believe there,” assistant coach Rich Gunney said in regards to Jakobsson’s arm injury. “Obviously it’s different to play with a cast and uncomfortable but you’ve seen over multiple games that we make changes and we rely on our whole roster because we believe it’s a team effort.”

First Half

Neither side could maintain a hold on possession in the opening 10 minutes, but San Diego started to cause problems for the Chicago defense on the counterattack.

Ali, Alex Morgan, and Jodie Taylor looked as energetic as ever early on, running at every defender that crossed their path.

Credit: Cali Camera

Around the 20th minute mark, Ali picked up a little injury which allowed for the two teams to take a break and speak with their coaches. Once play resumed, and Ali returned to the pitch, San Diego started to connect their passes much better.

At the 32nd mark, Ali went down once again. This time she wasn’t able to return. Jakobsson was substituted on in her place.

“I believe it’s something around the knee in terms of impact, so we’ll have to assess that now,” Gunney said. 

Right as Jakobsson entered the pitch, she provided another spark on offense. Bolting down the right-wing, Jakobsson made her way into the box with the ball and was brought down, but the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenge, and play continued. 

After another close attempt from Taylor Kornieck, the first half ended scoreless, justifying how even these two teams really are.

Second Half

It was an energetic and attacking start to the second half for San Diego. Five minutes into the half Morgan had her first shot on target after seeing her low shot pushed wide for a corner. Two minutes later, Jakobsson would also see her similar shot go just wide of the post. 

In the 54th minute, San Diego found themselves in a two versus one situation on the counter-attack. Morgan played a great through ball to set off Jakobsson on another darting run. Once Jakobsson entered the box, she was again brought down. This time the referee called it for a penalty. As she always does, Morgan calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.

The goal was almost completely made by the incredible run by Jakobsson, who looked terrific despite playing with a cast.

“It was hot because I had so much protection on it but I’m happy I was able to play, Jakobsson said. “It’s just a hand so it could be worse. One more week and hopefully it’s off.”

In the ten minutes that followed, San Diego would score two more through Morgan and Jakobsson, but both were ruled offside to the disbelief of the San Diego crowd. The Wave was flowing in the second half and looked confident enough to secure the win despite only being up 1-0.

In the 83rd minute, Chicago thought they had an equalizer, but Jillienne Aguilera’s header was ruled offside.

In the dying minutes, San Diego scored their second goal of the game after a wonderfully worked freekick ended up in the path of Riehl, who finished perfectly for her second career goal for the Wave.

“I timed my run, and I think because we did a different set piece that what we had usually been doing I think that caught them off guard,” Riehl said.

Riehl also joked around after the game about battling Morgan for the Wave’s top goalscorer spot. “Put me in the nine,” Riehl said, jokingly suggesting that her goal-scoring prowess as a defender may result in her taking Morgan’s spot up front.

Chicago would manage to get their consolation goal in the end through Ava Cooke, preventing Kalien Sheridan from breaking her personal record of consecutive shutouts by reaching three today. 

It was a low-scoring game up until the last few minutes, as many would have predicted, between two teams with rock-solid defenses.

“Chicago came with a lot of heart and determination, especially at the end there. We’ll be frustrated and disappointed with how we closed the game out so we have some learnings there but you have to work hard, compete and adapt to the challenge each time,” Gunney said. “It was a patchy first-half performance, we made a few small adjustments and I was really pleased with the attitude and mindsets coming into the second half.”

Next, the San Diego Wave will go on a 4-game away run starting with Racing Louisville on Wednesday, May 18, at Lynn Family Stadium.

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News and Notes

  • In the 62nd minute, Jodie Taylor came off for the rookie attacker Kelsey Turnbow.
  • In the 82-minute, Morgan and Kornieck came off for Katie Johnson and Bella Briede.

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