San Diego Wave Fútbol Club fell 4-3 Saturday in a hard-fought National Women’s Soccer League match against the Washington Spirit at Audi Field in the nation’s capital.
After conceding three goals in the first half, San Diego (9-6-4) battled to tie, but ultimately lost in the final minute of stoppage time due to a Spirit penalty.
“I’m disappointed for the players because I think they massively fought to get back in the game, and they showed huge spirit and character,” said Wave head coach Casey Stoney, “but obviously, our luck ran out in the end with the penalty.”
The Wave is tied for first with the Portland Thorns at 31 points; however, the local club has lost three of its last five matches.
After a shot on goal three minutes into the match, Jaedyn Shaw opened Saturday morning’s scoring in the seventh minute with a volley goal assisted by Emily Van Egmond. This marks the 17-year-old’s second goal in her second professional appearance and start for the Wave.
Washington (2-6-10) then bounced back with a three-goal response in the first half. Tara McKeown started off the home side’s scoring in the 11th minute off a set piece, followed by a brace from Amber Brooks.
In the 57th minute, Alex Morgan drew a foul in the penalty area after being taken down with a tumble by Brooks. Morgan then scored her fifth penalty and 14th overall goal of the regular season with a shot to the bottom right corner that slid through the Spirit keeper.
This brought the score to 3-2, giving hope to San Diego, now trailing by one goal.
Morgan then scored a brace and tied the match 3-3 in the 83rd minute with a header from close range. Now with 15 goals in the regular season, the Golden Boot leader was assisted by Van Egmond, her second assist of the match.
In the final minute of stoppage time, the Spirit drew a penalty which Ashley Hatch converted from the spot to bring the final score to 3-4.
Stoney said after the match: “We know that they’re (Washington) a team that are very dangerous in transition, and unfortunately, we kept giving them transition moments in key areas, and it cost us goals in the end.”
San Diego now returns home to Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17, as they take on Angel City FC at 7 p.m.
After surpassing the NWSL attendance record last month, San Diego Wave FC has now sold every seat in Snapdragon Stadium that was made available to the club based on the optimal set-up to view soccer.
Tickets are on sale for the Sept. 30 match against North Carolina Courage.