The San Diego Wave win their final match before the international break behind Alex Morgan’s two goals and one assist.
The San Diego Wave (1st at 5-2-3, 18 points) defeated NJ/NY Gotham FC (8th at 3-4-0, 9 points) 3-0 on Sunday, June 19.
Adding this game, San Diego has defeated Gotham by a total of seven goals during the teams’ only two matches so far. The first San Diego win came during that memorable Alex Morgan performance, where she scored an NWSL record of four goals in a single game.
Perhaps Morgan has a liking for playing against Gotham FC because she came out firing once again. During this match, Morgan extended her lead as the NWSL’s top goalscorer by scoring two goals today, moving her season tally up to 11.
Morgan’s new goal tally also marked the first time she’s ever scored double-digit goals in a professional season. Morgan’s previous best was when she scored nine in 13 matches for the Orlando Pride in 2017.
The first of Morgan’s two goals came through the two newly announced USWNT members. Taylor Kornieck combined with Morgan to score the first. First, Kornieck robbed the ball from a Gotham FC midfielder and then played a perfect ball onto Morgan, who dispatched the ball into the back of the net.
Morgan’s next goal came 20 minutes later. Excellent build-up play, which again involved Kornieck, found Sofia Jakobsson on the wing. Jakobsson then played a dangerous ball across the face of the goal, which Morgan poached into the back of the net.
Gotham FC didn’t throw in the towel, though, hitting the post once in the first half and outshooting San Diego despite the 2-0 score at the end of the half.
San Diego’s next goal also came through Morgan. But this time, she wasn’t the goal scorer. She was assisting. Mackenzie Doniak and Morgan combined for a beautiful one-two where Morgan set up Doniak on the final pass. Doniak then hit the ball on her first touch off the crossbar and into the back of the net. Her first-ever goal for the San Diego Wave.
“Alex is so fun to play with. She works so well with all of us,” Doniak said. “I knew she was either going to take it herself, or I was making that run-in for her, and I think she picked her head up and was able to pick me back out. I was calling for it, and she told me she heard me.”
That action would prove to be Morgan’s last play when she was then subbed off for Amirah Ali with 20 minutes left to play.
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Gotham FC attempted to push and score a consolation goal, but the San Diego defense and substitutes held strong to secure the win.
It was a big win for the league leaders, San Diego, as they had gone winless in their last four games (0-1-3). They also managed to hold their first clean sheet in four games.
“I’m hugely proud of their performance, and I thought the backline had to really stand strong, especially in the last 15 minutes,” head coach Casey Stoney said. “I thought they stood up to everything that was given to them today, so an immense performance across the back four, midfield, and the forwards because we always say it doesn’t matter where the ball is, we defend as 11 and attack as 11.”
The San Diego Wave will now go on an international break for the remainder of June. Upon return, the Wave will face last year’s NWSL winners, the Washington Spirit, at Torero Stadium in San Diego on Sunday, July 3.
Morgan Prickett is currently studying Journalism at San Diego State and is on pace to graduate in 2023. He was born in Libreville, Gabon and lived in Pretoria, South Africa for 7 years until he moved to the Bay Area. He’s a massive soccer and basketball fan; mainly supporting Arsenal of the English Premier League and any team Chris Paul is on. He’s also an avid supporter of all sports teams in San Diego and loves watching all San Diego State sports.