San Diego narrowly lost their second match of the season last Sunday, 1-0 versus OL Reign. They came into today’s match against Kansas City looking for some points to further their lead at the top of the NWSL table. Houston Dash’s 5-0 win yesterday brought them one point away from San Diego at the top, putting some pressure on San Diego for their next fixtures.
Despite not getting the win they desired, San Diego Wave FC held on to tie Kansas City Current 2-2 in dramatic fashion during the first-ever meeting between the sides on Saturday, June 4.
“I don’t think that we were at our best today necessarily,” NWSL leading goal scorer Alex Morgan said. “Just the will to fight back, I think, was the positive to take away from today.”
Two goals from corner kicks almost proved enough for a Kansas City win; they became the first team to score multiple goals against San Diego.
The first goal came early and was well deserved after relentless pressure from Kansas City forced San Diego to sit back on defense.
After a well-worked corner, the ball eventually found its way into the box, where a brilliant Kristen Hamilton header gave the Current a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton and San Diego’s top scorer Morgan conveniently have one thing in common. Both players are one of three players to have scored four goals in an NWSL match after Morgan scored four in an earlier match this season against NJ/NY Gotham FC.
Despite the tide of the match going against the Wave, San Diego earned a penalty in the 35th minute off a Kansas City handball in which Morgan dispatched into the bottom corner for her 7th goal of the season.
The second Kansas City goal came off another corner, this time in the 63rd minute. Kansas City passed the ball short from the corner twice and then whipped in a cross, this time headed home by Elyse Bennett to give the Current a 2-1 lead.
“Pretty much identical two goals, really, so we need to do some work on the field,” head coach Casey Stoney said. “We need to look at the setup. We need to look at how we address that and how we give the players the best possible chance to defend in those situations.”
In the 89th minute, when it looked as if San Diego had no chance of salvaging a point, Sofia Jakobsson was played through on goal by Emily Van Egmond and flashed a ball across the face of the goal. In what felt like slow motion, the ball made its way all the way to the back post, where Morgan took a touch and then passed the ball into the back of the net to tie the match.
An incredible finish to the match by an incredible forward in Morgan, who now has eight goals in her seven regular-season matches, which leads the NWSL.
Next, San Diego Wave will return to Torero Stadium in San Diego after a 4-game away stand as they face the Portland Thorns on Wednesday, June 8.
“We’re really excited to get back in front of our home fans,” Morgan said. “Our fans give us energy, and we want to continue to be able to feed off of that and continue to get wins in front of our home fans.”