San Diego Wave FC beat Houston Dash 1-0 win on Sunday, Sept. 3, giving them sole possession of first place in the NWSL with only four matches remaining.
To get three wins in a row in this league is really, really difficult and not something that teams do too often,” Assistant Coach Louis Hunt said. “The fact that we were able to do it after the run we were on prior is massive; it’s put us in a really, really strong position.”
The biggest moment of the night happened in the 33rd minute following a Dash corner kick. The ball deflected back for a throw-in that Houston threw back toward Michelle Alozie. Alozie misplayed the ball, allowing Rachel Hill to run behind her for an eventual one-on-one opportunity versus the goalkeeper. However, Alozie tackled Hill from the side, causing her to fall, which the referee immediately called a foul, giving Alozie a red card.
The Wave would have the rest of the game up a player but did not score until the next half.
On the defensive end throughout the entire match, the Wave were dominant, only allowing three shots each half, with none of them being on target. Kailen Sheridan, the Wave goalkeeper who was playing her first match in San Diego since the World Cup, didn’t touch the ball with her hands all game.
“After a certain amount of time after not having done anything with your hands, it can be mentally challenging,” Sheridan said. “I honestly felt it at one point just being like, you have to stay engaged, stay focused. It could come down to one opportunity for them, and I didn’t want that to be the change of the game.”
In the second half, during the 56th minute, the Wave had multiple great opportunities in front of the goal that they could not finish. Two balls shot on by Alex Morgan were stopped by the crossbar or post. It took Jaedyn Shaw in the 57th minute to put in the game-winner. Shaw faked a shot to get the goalkeeper to commit to a save, putting her on her knees before moving forward a few feet and tap it in to make it 1-0.
“We got a lot of chances and somehow they were just not going into the goal and it felt really good to be able to put one in the back of the net,” Shaw said.
The Wave were unable to add onto their goal total despite being up a player the rest of the match and shooting the ball a total of 23 times, with nine being on target.
Abraham Zepeda is a bilingual Chula Vista Native covering the Tijuana Xolos for EVT. He spent the summer of 2022 covering San Diego Loyal SC and San Diego Wave FC. He is also currently a student at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in journalism.