Wave ForeCast: Wave FC vs. OL Reign
Closing out the home portion of the schedule for the month of June, San Diego Wave Fútbol Club (4-2-2, 14 Pts.) looks to build off of a dramatic late match come back earlier in the week on Sunday afternoon as they host the OL Reign (2-2-3, 8 Pts.) at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego with a 2pm PDT kickoff time on Paramount+. San Diego enters the match still on top of the NWSL standings table, holding a one-point lead over expansion partner Angel City FC, plus a two-point lead over the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars. OL is currently in a tie for sixth place with NJ/NY Gotham FC with nine points.
THE DROP-IN (Last match): Staring down the barrel of defeat, and a 2-0 deficit, Taylor Kornieck delivered two goals in seven minutes in the 81st and 88th minutes as the Wave battled back for a 2-2 tie against Portland Thorns FC on Wednesday at Torero Stadium before a standing room only sell-out crowd of 6,100 for the club’s inaugural Pride Night match.
Sophia Smith put the visiting Thorns on top 1-0 following her penalty kick goal in the first half while Christine Sinclair scored just a minute into the second half to double Portland’s advantage to 2-0, pushing Sinclair into second all-time in the NWSL for scoring in her 150th career regular-season match.
Kornieck jammed home a loose ball off of a corner kick in the 81st minute to cut the deficit in half before she headed home the equalizer seven minutes later when she redirected a beautiful pass from Christen Westphal to tie the match 2-2 and salvage a point for San Diego.
2022 SAN DIEGO WAVE FC ROSTER:
Goalkeepers (3): Kailen Sheridan, Carly Telford, Melissa Lowder
Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper, Naomi Gima, Kaleigh Reihl, Tegan McGrady, Christen Westphal, Kayla Bruster, Mia Gyau, Taylor Hansen
Forwards (6): Amirah Ali, Jodie Taylor, Sofia Jakobsson, Alex Morgan, Makenzy Doniak, Katie Johnson
Midfielders (7): Emily van Egmond, Kelsey Turnbow, Kristen McNabb, Sydney Pulver, Taylor Kornieck, Belle Briede, Marleen Schimmer
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: The OL Reign, based out of Seattle, Washington, and owned by French Soccer Clubs Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Lyonnais Feminin visit the Wave on Sunday to wrap up the regular-season matchups between the two sides. OL is still searching for their first road win of the season, they hold a 0-1-2 record away from Lumen Field and are averaging 0.33 points per game away from home. That is the second-fewest points per game in the NWSL, only the Kansas City Current who are 0-1-3 (0.25 ppg/away) have fewer.
IMPACT ZONE (All-Time series): The Reign led the all-time series over the Wave 2-0-2 which includes the Challenge Cup meetings between the two clubs. San Diego and OL made acquaintances with one another back in late May up in Seattle. The duo of Sofia Huerta and Rose Lavell connected on the lone goal in the match in the 75th minute. Lavell’s marker was the lone tally in the Regin’s 1-0 victory over San Diego.
WAVE WATCHING (Player to watch): Taylor Kornieck has generated a lot of offense in recent Wave FC matches. Other than her two-goal performance on Wednesday night against Portland, her pass to Alex Morgan in North Carolina led to Morgan scoring the lone goal on May 22nd in San Diego’s win. Keep an eye out for #22 for the Wave.
SHOREBREAK (Goalkeeper match-up): It is expected that Kailen Sheridan will be back in the net for San Diego. She has started all eight matches for the Wave, carrying a 4-2-2 record and 20 saves made.
Phallon Tullis-Joyce is the league leader in saves with 31 and brings in seven starts to her record and is 2-2-3 on the season for the Reign.
POSTERIZED: The first 2,000 Fans attending the match on Sunday can take home a Wave FC player poster of either Naomi Girma or Alex Morgan on Sunday afternoon as they come through the gates of Torero Stadium to celebrate their winnings of NWSL monthly awards for May.
OFFSHORE VIEWING (Where to Watch): Sunday’s match will begin at 2 pm PDT from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego and will be streamed on Paramount+ and Twitch International.
QUOTES (courtesy of Wave FC’s Communications team):
CASEY STONEY, SAN DIEGO WAVE FC HEAD COACH
On Sunday’s upcoming match: “Obviously, it’s a quick turnaround to the next match. We put the previous match to bed and take the learnings from that. I thought our performance was very good [on Wednesday], and we will take that going into Sunday. We are at home again with our fans so hopefully, we can put on a show and entertain and get a win.”
“We need to focus on the performance. The ideal thing is we don’t go behind in games, so we have a far greater chance to win the game. If we can concentrate on being on the front foot, being aggressive, attacking, but also be very mindful around our box, and protecting our box better than we have done, we will be successful.
On Christen Westphal’s recent performances: “The key to continuing to get the best out of her is confidence and belief. If she plays with confidence and belief, she can be such a great player and she showed that on Wednesday night. The delivery she put into the box [on her assist to T. Kornieck] and the chances created.. we can’t get that result if she’s not high up the pitch getting those balls into the box. We’ll continue to coach her, work with her, and give her the confidence to go out and perform because she’s a good player.
On the last match against OL Reign was held to six shots: “They are a very good team aren’t they.. they defend very well, they are very organized, good at counter-pressing and I’m sure they’ll come here and try to do the same to us again. We will look at ways to create more chances like we did on Wednesday night, so we need to take that and apply them again on Sunday.
On Naomi [Girma]’s NWSL rookie of the month award: “I am not surprised at all. I am surprised that people have recognized she is still a rookie, she is playing like an experienced pro. The way she plays the game, her maturity, her calmness, composure, the way she takes on information, and the questions she asks shows she is an intelligent player. We are extremely lucky to have had first pick in the draft and were very resolute in our decision to pick her. I am so glad we did.”
SOFIA JAKOBSSON, SAN DIEGO WAVE FC FORWARD
On Naomi [Girma]’s NWSL rookie of the month award: “She is such a mature player. to be that young, she plays with confidence and looks like she’s had many years of experience at this level. She is an amazing player and will become better and better with time. She will be important for us [San Diego] but really important for the USWNT in the future.”
On OL reigns defense: “If we play well as a team, it does not matter if they have good defenders. If we play well, we can find ways to beat their team. There are good defenders all around this league, so it does not change anything for me to approach the game.”
EMILY VAN EGMOND, SAN DIEGO WAVE FC MIDFIELDER
On the upcoming match: “Coming off the back of our Wednesday performance, there were a lot of positives to take. We are back at home in front of our fans, which feels like we have the 12th man. We will use these next two trainings to rectify what we need to before the next game. It is an important game that we are looking to get three points out of.
On OL Reign having the NWSL Goalkeeper of the month [Phallon Tullis-Joyce]: “That is the level across the whole league. there are great defenders and fantastic goalkeepers, but we will look to put a lot of pressure on their goal and hopefully, she [Phallon Tullis-Joyce] doesn’t get any “saves of the week” in our match, and we can get the ball in the back of the net.
On Taylor Kornieck’s recent performances: “Taylor [Kornieck] is a weapon, there is no doubt about it. We are all so happy for her, she has had a phenomenal month, she scored two massive goals for us on Wednesday night, and she is just showing across the league she is getting better and better. We could not be happier for her as teammates to see her succeed.”
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