On a historic night and in front of a loud and energetic crowd at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego, Alex Morgan sent the San Diego faithful into a frenzy on Saturday evening by recording the first Hat Trick in San Diego Wave FC history and adding a fourth goal in stoppage time as San Diego cruised to a 4-0 victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC. The Wave improves to 2-0-0, 6 Pts. on the season, while Gotham is now 1-1-0, 3 Pts.
SURF RIDERS (Starting XI): Kailen Sheridan (GK), Abby Dahlkemper (D – CAP.), Namoi Girma (D), Emily van Egmond (MF), Jodie Taylor (F), Sofia Jakobsson (F), Alex Morgan (F), Kristen McNabb (MF), Tegan McGrady (D), Christen Westphal (D), Taylor Kornieck (MF).
GAME CHANGERS (Subs): Kelsey Turnbow, Amirah Ali, MacKenzy Doniak, Kaliegh Reihl, Belle Briede, Mia Gyau, Marleen Schimmer
TIME LAPSE (How it Happened): Gotham FC took control of the opening few minutes of the match, but Kailen Sheridan and San Diego’s defense stifled any quality chances which came right away in the first minute of play. Sheridan was tested with a pair of sensational saves in the tenth minute and the sixteenth minute. San Diego began to swing momentum in their favor in the 22nd minute which required an off-the-line save by Gotham’s defensive core and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. However, the Wave was dealt a huge blow to its defensive core in the 30th minute as Abby Dahlkemper went down with an injury that required medical personnel and a stretcher to come to her aid, but thankfully she left the match on her own power and did not require the stretcher. The Wave continued their offensive momentum in the 38th minute, but once more Harris stifled the attack with a pair of acrobatic saves to keep the scoreline level.
WHERE THE TIDE TURNED (The Turning Point): In the first minute of stoppage time, the Wave was rewarded for a Penalty Kick after their pressure in front of Gotham’s net finally paid off with a handball called in the penalty area. Alex Morgan stepped up to the spot and sent a shot into the back of the net beating Harris who broke the wrong way off her line. Morgan sent the Torero Stadium crowd into a frenzy and gave San Diego a 1-0 lead late in the first half.
WAVE FC GOAL: Alex Morgan (PK): 45+1’ (SD 1, NJ/NY 0)
Entering the second half of play, San Diego’s offensive attack continued to pressure Gotham’s defensive corps, and it once more paid off in the 67th minute. Amirah Ali, who had checked into the match just two minutes prior, once again proved why San Diego calls their subs “Game Changers”. Ali’s run into the box caused McCall Zerboni to impede her progress and knock her down inside the area, which saw Referee Alex Billeter point to the penalty spot to reward another Penalty Kick to San Diego. Once more, it would be Alex Morgan cool, calm, and collected at the spot and cashing in the Penalty Kick past a sprawled out Harris who guessed the right way, but it went in to double the Wave advantage to 2-0.
WAVE FC GOAL: Alex Morgan (PK – 2nd of Match): 66’ (SD 2, NJ/NY 0)
Morgan’s performance was not over just yet. Four minutes later, Morgan found herself unmarked inside the box and blasting a left-foot shot low and by Harris for the Hat Trick and a 3-0 advantage for the Wave.
WAVE FC GOAL: Alex Morgan (Hat Trick): 71’ (SD 3, NJ/NY 0)
Morgan would put the final cherry on top with a stoppage-time goal for her fourth of the night, same spot as the third goal, same result as the third goal, for her fourth goal and a 4-0 San Diego lead in the dying minutes of the match to polish off a 4-0 Wave FC victory.
WAVE FC GOAL: Alex Morgan (4th of Match): 90’+1 (SD 4, NJ/NY 0)
TUBULAR TIDBITS (Match Notes): With her four-goal performance, Alex Morgan becomes the third player in NWSL history to record four goals in a match.
Alex Morgan on the victory: “To be able to put a show like we did tonight, to get a clean sheet which is extremely important, and scoring goals, I think we couldn’t have asked for a better game for ourselves and for this city.”
Kailen Sheridan on the clean sheet: “It’s really important to us that we represent our home really well and that we keep clean sheets at home. When people come here, we want it to be a really hard place to play and a hard place to score. We accomplished that today, I think people aren’t going to second guess us anymore and they’re not going to take us for granted. That’s two games in a row (recording clean sheets).
Alex Morgan on her four goals: “There’s no doubt about it. I am…Home (in San Diego). I think everyone can feel it and see it. The ball just dropped my way tonight after the two penalties, but I feel like all around, it was such a team performance, we were everywhere on this pitch. It was a really great team effort by this team.”
Kailen Sheridan on facing Chicago next Sunday: “Chicago is a really good team, we know that they’re going to bring a different style of game than what we’ve seen the last two games. Ultimately, if we play our game and bring our game to them, we’ll be successful.”
Alex Morgan on facing Chicago next Sunday: I think we if just keep having the crowds that we do, the energy, feeding off this energy tonight it was electric. Just being able to absolutely dominate at home, we want to make sure we do this every single game that we’re here. We expect nothing less next week too.”
Kailen Sheridan on the Crowd: “We have an extra player on the field with this crowd.”
NEXT MATCH: San Diego returns to the pitch at Torero Stadium on Sunday, May 15th to face the Chicago Red Stars at 2pm Pacific Time.