San Diego Wave FC began their inaugural season doing what starting goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan said they wanted to do which was “When people come here, we want it to be a really hard place to play and a hard place to score.” The Wave began the regular season campaign at home on a six-match unbeaten streak, until the Kansas City Current came to town and spoiled the fun with a 2-1 victory over the Wave before another packed house at Torero Stadium. Kansas City with the win improves to 6-4-4, 22 Pts. and jumps into 4th Place in the NWSL table while San Diego falls to 7-4-4, 25 Pts. but still remain in the hunt for first place with the Portland Thorns and OL Reign.
TIME LAPSE (How it happened): Both teams exchanged chances and possession early on until the Current broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. San Diego’s defense had done a tremendous job of knocking down potential scoring chances in front of Sheridan, but CeCe Kizer took advantage of a hiccup by the Wave defense, streaked in one on two before putting a shot by Sheridan and finding the back of the net to put the Current on top 1-0.
KANSAS CITY GOAL: CeCe Kizer (27′ – SD, 0 KC 1)
WHERE THE TIDE TURNED (The turning point): Physical play and yellow cards became the talking points in the middle towards the back half of the opening half before Kansas City doubled their advantage in the 40th minute. Hailie Mace settled a pass down outside of the box area before ripping a laser shot into the upper top corner by a diving Sheridan to give the Current a 2-0 advantage after the first half of play.
KANSAS CITY GOAL: Hailie Mace (40′ – SD, 0 KC 2)
In the 69th minute, it looked as if the Current would put the final cherry on top of the match after receiving a Penalty Kick including a Yellow Card issued to Kailen Sheridan. Sheridan earned the last laugh on the play with her second consecutive Penalty Kick save in two matches. San Diego has now recorded Penalty Kick saves in three consecutive matches dating back to Carly Telford’s heroics on July 15th against Louisville.
San Diego managed to put a dent in Kansas City’s armor in the 88th Minute. Amirah Ali netted her first career NWSL goal to cut the deficit to 2-1. Ali parked herself in the middle of the box and calmly taped a pass past Current Goalkeeper AD Franch to inject life back into Torero Stadium. However, the hourglass ran out on the Wave after furious last minutes of regular and stoppage time didn’t generate the equalizer which gave Kansas City the three points in a 2-1 victory for the Current.
WAVE FC GOAL: Amirah Ali (FIRST NWSL GOAL – 88′ – SD 1, KC 2)
Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney on the match: “I’m not often disappointed, but I am today I thought the manner of our performance was not good enough. We didn’t deserve to get anything out of today’s game and we got what we deserved which was a loss. Lots for me to fix, lots for me to review. We just did not come out and start well.”
Casey Stoney on what she’ll look back on for the next match: “Keeping the ball, something technical was off today. The one time we played any type of Football we scored when we did break pressure we just wanted to go forward and defensively we have to be better. I need to prioritize what we need to work on before Orlando.”
Casey Stoney on Amirah Ali’s first career goal: “Massively proud. We know we’ve been on a bit of a slow journey with Amirah in terms of fitness levels and being able to get her on the pitch for longer, but she’s working really hard. Pleased for her to get the goal, she’s a super, super talent.”
Amirah Ali on the match: “I know we had a game plan and I think kind of wavered from it a bit and started slow. Looking to the next game, we just need to focus on what we need to do and get it done early rather than play catch up in the second half.”
Madison Pogarch on the match: “Disappointing result. Last weekend [in Chicago] we showed what we could do when we’re under pressure and I think in the second half we showed more of that character as well. I think energy is a big piece of it for sure as we review this game.”
NEXT MATCH: The Wave return to the pitch on Saturday, August 13th against the Orlando Pride at 7:30pm in the middle match of a three-match home stand at Torero Stadium.