The San Diego Wave played their final 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup match on Saturday, August 5, at home against their Southern California rival, Angel City FC.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw despite many chances in the final third for the Wave. The loss extended their winless streak across all competitions to nine.
The first goal came thanks to an aggressive press by the Wave’s newly re-signed forward, Jaedyn Shaw. The ACFC goalkeeper DiDi Haračić had the ball attempting to build up play, but Jaedyn Shaw applied pressure on her by running at her forcing Haračić to make a pass to a defender. Haračić made a weak pass up that Shaw intercepted and scored easily to take the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
“It meant the world that I could score the first game after signing my new contract. I feel like it was a representation of how much I love this place and how much I really enjoy the fans and environment here,” said Shaw.
Angel City quickly equalized in the next five minutes after a goal by the San Diego native Scarlett Camberos. Wave goalkeeper Shae Yanez came out of the box to make a tackle on the opposing forward, forcing the ball toward the corner of the field in front of Camberos. Camberos took a few steps forward and sent a cross over Yanez into the far side of the goal to equalize at 1-1 in the 16th minute.
The goal was Camberos’ first in the NWSL and in front of many family and friends who filled up a few rows near the goal who were very loud
After the match, Camberos said she was super happy to get my first goal, especially in front of friends and family in a place where I’ve grown up,” and also said that the cross was not intended to be a shot on goal.
The Wave played well defensively the rest of the match with some good saves by Yanez and the return of Abby Dahlkemper at center back after an injury that kept her out for the majority of her time with the Wave. On the offensive end the Wave had much more offensive chances than Angel City outshooting them by nine, but had 10 shots on goal that the goalkeeper saved.
Stoney said after the match, the team needed to be “more ruthless in the box” and was “disappointed in a draw. with our performance, I thought we deserved a bit more tonight.”
The Wave have an extra week between now and their next match on August 19, when they return to NWSL regular season play to take on New Jersey/New York Gotham FC at Snapdragon Stadium.
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.