In their first-ever win, the San Diego Wave (1-1-1) dominated Angel City FC (0-1-3), 4-2.
In their second ever home match, the Wave was able to eke out a win thanks to a brace from Alex Morgan and goals from Jodie Taylor and Amirah Ali.
The Wave opened the match by pressuring Angel City’s defense. On multiple early occasions, Alex Morgan latched onto weak clearances from the Angel City defense and attacked, mainly resulting in corners.
“We changed our press slightly [from the last match], and it caused them problems,” head coach Casey Stoney said.
The Wave ended the match with 12 corners in comparison to Angel City’s two.
Not only corners, but the Wave dominated the pitch in all aspects.
They finished the match with more shots, 23 to Angel City’s 11.
The first goal came in the 18th minute after numerous successive attempts on goal.
Kelsey Turnbow did an incredible job in keeping the ball in Angel City’s box after a beautiful through ball to Tegan Mcgrady. Mcgrady then played a ball into the box, which was controlled by Morgan. Morgan then launched the ball across the face of the goal, where it took Jodie Taylor two attempts, with one being deflected, before placing the ball in the back of the net from close.
“It’s a great feeling to score,” Taylor said. “But more importantly, for us to win and score multiple goals in a game, it was a good performance, and I’m happy with it.”
Unfortunately for the Wave, they were so dominant to the point where even they had to be the ones to put the ball in the back of the net for Angel City to score.
Angel City’s equalizer came after a Wave communication mishap where Mcgrady’s back pass just managed to sneak by the side of Kailen Sheridan for an own-goal.
The Wave wasn’t going to let the first half end on a low with that own goal. In stoppage time of the first half, a cross was yet again poorly cleared by the Angel City defense. Morgan latched onto the wayward clearance and scored her first goal for the Wave.
As the second half began, Angel City slowly began to come out of its shell.
Angel City would again get an equalizer this game, this time in the 60th minute and not via an own-goal.
The ball was whipped into the path of Christen Press, who did wonderfully with the ball. Much like Taylor’s goal earlier, after two attempts, Press beautifully placed the ball in the top right corner. 2-2, 30 minutes left, and all to play for.
In the 68th minute, the Wave made their first substitutes of the match. Sofia Jakobsson and Kelsey Turnbow both came off the pitch for Amirah Ali and Bella Briede.
In the 72nd minute, to the delight of the crowd, Morgan grabbed her second.
After a perfect cross by Christen Westphal, Morgan placed the ball in the bottom right corner with a perfect first touch. The Wave yet again took the lead, this time through the first brace in Wave history.
“It’s always great to put the ball in the back of the net as a forward,” Morgan said. That’s our job. It’s what we’re expected to do, so to be able to do that a couple of times tonight felt great.”
In the 76th minute, Morgan then came off for Marleen Schimmer.
“The strength of our bench was unbelievable, Stoney said. “Bella Breide coming on making a real impact, and Amirah Ali again showed her qualities.”
To put the game to bed, rookie Amirah Ali went on an adventurous run deep into Angel City’s half. She had two options to her right but decided to take it on her own and finished beautifully in the bottom right corner.
Morgan’s player of the match:
Today I’ve decided to begin a new recap ritual. I’m going to start adding a breakdown of who I thought deserved player of the match and why at the end of every recap.
My player of the match today was Taylor Kornieck.
The performance of both Alex Morgan and Kelsey Turnbow were in close second and definitely made my decision tougher, but I think Kornieck is the right choice.
I think if someone who had never watched soccer were to have watched today’s game, they would have no idea what position Kornieck plays. She literally covered almost every inch of the pitch at some point during the match.
“It’s interesting because Taylor Kornieck wasn’t due to start, Emily Van Egmond was, but Taylor came in, and she was outstanding,’ Stoney said.
She often provided support for the attackers during counterattacks, fought for headers almost every time the ball entered the Angel City box, and provided amazing cover to each of the defenders.
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She was the actual definition of a box-to-box midfielder and, in my opinion, was the deciding factor as to why the Wave came out with three points.
Without winning the midfield battle, there’s not much you can do to control the tempo of the game. From the get-go, Kornieck had control of the midfield, and from then on, it was all up to the Wave forwards to get the job done.
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.