San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan continued to shine and teammate Makenzy Doniak scored her first goal this season in a 3-0 win Sunday over host NJ/NY Gotham FC (3-4-0).
Morgan added two more goals in her third multigoal match of the season for her record-setting 11th total this season in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan picked up her fourth clean sheet of the year and has now held her former team scoreless in both 2022 matchups. The Canadian native fended off 13 shots from Gotham on the way to securing three saves.
The Wave’s win in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, puts them on top of the standings again, two points ahead of Portland Thorns at midseason. The win comes after draws in the last three matches.
The scoring began in the 19th minute thanks to an assist from NWSL Player of the Week Taylor Kornieck — placing a pass into the penalty area that Morgan shot between the legs of Gotham keeper Ashlyn Harris.
In the 43rd minute, Morgan took a cross from Sofia Jakobsson to bag a brace and hand her a league-best 11 goals in the 10 regular season matches.
Morgan is now only the 19th player in NWSL history to record double-digit goals in a single campaign and just the fourth to do so since 2019. Six of her 11 goals have come against Gotham FC.
Doniak, who was sidelined in numerous matches this season due to injury, said of her goal: “It felt amazing and hopefully more to come. I think, as a team, we’re really hitting our stride.”
San Diego Wave (5-3-2) head coach Casey Stoney called Doniak’s goal with an assist from Morgan “exceptional.”
“I’m really proud of Makenzy because she’s got to be extremely patient with the opportunity.”
About Sunday’s match, goalie Sheridan said: “It was a really important three points for us. We’ve had a bit of a drought points-wise and we know we’ve played the best but haven’t gotten the points.”
“This is huge for us going into the international break and a shutout is even better for our back line,” the goalkeeper continued. “It proves all that hard work they’ve been doing is coming through in the end.”
Wave FC heads into the international break this week without the assistance of Morgan, Kornieck, Naomi Girma, Sofia Jakobsson, Kailen Sheridan and Emily van Egmond — all playing with their national teams in July in World Cup qualifying matches.
Morgan has made 11 of the Wave’s 16 goals, and Stoney discussed her absences in upcoming games.
“She’s been pivotal,” the head coach said after the match. “But when she goes away, someone else has to step up … and we’ll make sure we put people in positions and try and create chances for them.”
Building different partnerships and looking at the way other players will perform is going to be really important, Stoney said. “We’re looking at how we bring in some training players that can come in and add to our squad during that period.”
“It gives an opportunity for somebody else to shine,” she said. “And hopefully that will happen.”
Morgan, Kornieck and Girma earned NWSL Best XI honors for May.
The Wave returns to Torero Stadium on Sunday, July 3, with a 2 p.m match against Washington.
Tickets for the Service Appreciation Day match, along with all 2022 home matches at Torero, are on sale through sandiegowavefc.com.
Playing during the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, Wave FC will honor military and first responders with $1 from every ticket helping injured military and first responders through the Operation Rebound program of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.