Wave lose heartbreaker to Portland in stoppage time

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It was a historical first year for the San Diego Wave FC.

The club became the first NWSL team to play in the playoffs during its inaugural season. That is quite an accomplishment.

Led by superstar Alex Morgan,  as well as Taylor Kornieck, Sofia Jakobsson, and Naomi Girma, the professional soccer team made the city of San Diego proud. The Wave fell short of their ultimate goal on Sunday afternoon in Portland, but the season was a success. It was pretty unfortunate. “What are you going to do, they are a great team,” Taylor Kornieck said after the match.

There is much to be proud of as the team endears itself to San Diego.

On Sunday, the Wave got out to an early lead on a 9th-minute goal from Kornieck off the foot of Alex Morgan. The tall offensive weapon provided the team with an early lead on the road, which was huge. “I had a similar goal last time we played,” Kornieck said post-match to the media. It looked as though it was going to be a good day for the Wave.

The lead did not last long, as Portland tied the match in the 20th minute. Rocky Rodriguez scored to even the match for the Thorns.

The match was back and forth, as both teams had opportunities to score but failed. The atmosphere in Portland was intense, and you could feel the tension in the air.

The 1-1 game looked destined to be an overtime match when a corner quick off the foot of Crystal Doniak put Portland ahead in the third minute of stoppage time. The game was essentially in the last possessions of the match when the Wave faltered. It was truly heartbreaking and a surreal moment for San Diego.

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The loss was difficult for the Wave as it happened so suddenly. “We are disappointing right now but immensely proud,” Wave head coach Casey Stoney said after the match.

There are plenty of things to be content about if you are San Diego and a fan of this new team. The Wave played in Snapdragon Stadium and set a new attendance record for the NWSL in both the regular season and during their lone playoff match on October 16 against the Chicago Fire FC. The fandom will only continue to grow. “They (the fans) put a lot of faith in us, and I hope we made them proud,” Kornieck said after the match.

The Wave will be on break until February of 2023.

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