Wave fall 2-1 vs. Reign to continue losing streak in Seattle

Credit: Seattle Reign

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Credit: Seattle Reign

The San Diego Wave played their fifth game in the 2024 NWSL season this Friday, May 3, against Seattle Reign at Lumen Field.

Heading into this match, San Diego had never achieved a single point in Seattle, and that streak continued as the Reign somehow came away with a 2-1 victory.

The Wave was plagued with injuries, with Alex Morgan, Noami Girma, Abby Dahlkemper, Sofia Jakobsson, and Melanie Barcenas all unavailable for this match. Seattle also had some key injuries, with goalkeeper Claudia Dickey, midfielder Quinn, and goalscorer Jordyn Huitema all sidelined in this match.

Casey Stoney came out with a very alternate squad, using Kristen McNabb and Kennedy Wesley at the centre-back positions to replace Dahlkemper and Girma. The attack featured Kyra Carusa, Makenzy Doniak, and Elyse Bennett, while the midfield was very consistent with what it has been with Savannah McCaskill, Emily Van Egmond, and Danielle Colaprico. Given all the injuries, it was shocking to see that Jaedyn Shaw and Maria Sanchez started this game on the bench for Casey Stoney.

The match was a very hard-fought one that became very gritty and physical very quickly, with a straight red card to Seattle’s Tziarra King for violent conduct against Hanna Lundkvist in just the ninth minute of play. San Diego had a huge advantage instantly and scored the first goal of the game in the 11th minute when Kyra Carusa was able to knock the ball into the back of the net. The goal was quite a bizarre one; the scoring play starting from a long free-kick by Kennedy Wesley, then a few rebounds found Causa, who smashed the ball at the crossbar with her first shot then sunk the ball into the back of the net with her shot off the rebound.

Kailen Sheridan made a monumental error in the 34th minute when she took far too long to get rid of the ball, and Seattle’s Bethany Balcer was there to steal the ball and tie the game. The goal was very unfortunate and was one that proved to be costly in what would be such a tough and competitive game at Lumen Field.

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The first half ended 1-1, and the key moments of the game came close to the final whistle, first in the 89th minute when Veronica Latsko scored via a header off a free kick by Ji So-Yun. That goal surprisingly turned out to be the deciding goal of the match, even with nine minutes added time and with the Wave having the player advantage since the ninth minute of play.

San Diego had a pair of key scoring opportunities in stoppage time that were foiled by goalkeeper Lauren Ivory, first a header by Jaedyn Shaw off a corner kick by Maria Sanchez and then a shot by Amirah Ali inside of the penalty box. The game ended in controversial fashion, as Kristen McNabb was given a direct red card for violent conduct against Jessica Fishlock. There was a total of 10 cards given in this game, making it the most carded game in NWSL history.

The result was highly disappointing given the player advantage for the Wave, as San Diego is winless on the road in three games to begin the season. San Diego will have two consecutive home games next, first against Utah Royals on May 8, then against Gotham FC on May 12.

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