San Diego Wave FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan makes a save against Racing Louisville. Photo by EM Dash-USA TODAY Sports
San Diego Wave FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan makes a save against Racing Louisville. Photo by EM Dash for USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Wave was “bitterly disappointed” in its 1-0 loss to Racing Louisville FC Wednesday that broke the team’s winning streak.

The teams were closely matched in physical contest, but a richochet off goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan’s glove made the difference.

“It was a frustrating evening for us,” said assistant coach Rich Gunney. “Obviously, we’re disappointed with the result. It’s tough on the road, especially with a short turnaround.”

San Diego Wave FC defender Christen Westphal controls the ball against Louisville. Photo by EM Dash for USA TODAY Sports

The loss came on a day when U.S. Soccer became the first federation in the world to agree to equal pay for men and women in all competitions, including World Cup prize money awarded to the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Men’s National Team.

After the match, Wave defender Abby Dahlkemper said: “It’s an amazing incentive and credit to the USWNT for ratifying this new CBA (collective bargaining agreement).”

“It’s game changing, and it’s not only going to affect women’s soccer in the US, but throughout the whole world,” said Dahlkemper, who played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

The Wave (3-1-0) won its first three matches of the season, but it was Louisville’s (1-1-2) first at Lynn Family Stadium in Kentucky.

Savannah DeMelo struck a free kick from outside the box that Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan got a hand on, but the velocity of the shot was too strong and continued into the back of the net, giving Louisville the advantage in the 27th minute.

Both sides generated only nine shots each over the course of the one-goal match. 

Alex Morgan, who subbed into the match at the start of the second half, took only a minute onto the pitch to create a scoring opportunity, but Racing’s goalkeeper Katie Lund made it one of her four saves on the evening.

Gunney said Morgan was in “ruthless form.”

Then in the 84th minute, Wave midfielder Taylor Kornieck crossed a ball from right-to-left over to Morgan, who headed a ball to Kristen McNabb, but McNabb’s header didn’t hit on frame and missed feet wide of the left post.

Two minutes later, Emily van Egmond dropped a cross into the goal area that Makenzy Doniak struck with her first touch, but Louisville’s Lund corralled the save and secured the victory for Louisville.

The teams had almost equal amount of time in ball possession, had almost the same number of corner kicks (Wave 10, Louisville 9) and each team had two yellow cards.

However, the Wave had 16 fouls versus Louisville’s seven.

Gunney said fatique may have been a factor in the loss. The team played Sunday in San Diego.

“It’s just a case of it’s a little bump in the road for us, we have to dust ourselves down and get back to, you know, performing how we want to perform… we want to try and create lots of chances,” said the assist coach who took over duties for head coach Casey Stoney, who missed the match because of COVID protocols.

Stoney’s return date has not been determined.

San Diego will travel onto Cary, North Carolina, for a Sunday matinee with the Courage, who dropped to 0-2 with a 2-1 loss to Orlando Pride on Wednesday night.

Kickoff for the May 22 match with North Carolina will be at 11 a.m. Pacific and stream live on Paramount+.