Wave becomes first NWSL team of 2023 to secure a playoff berth

San Diego Wave FC (10-7-3, 33 points) defeated Portland Thorns FC (9-6-5, 32 points) 2-0 at Providence Park on Saturday evening. With the win, San Diego became the first team of 2023 to secure an NWSL playoff spot, also moving back into first place in the standings with 33 points.

The Wave took the lead in the 20th minute with a goal from Kyra Carusa, set up by an on-point assist from Jaedyn Shaw. The play started in the midfield with Danny Colaprico helping win the ball, which Emily van Egmond collected and flicked to Shaw on the right side of the box. Shaw then sliced the ball through the Thorns backline to an open Carusa, who fired it to the back post.

In the 38th minute, Alex Morgan doubled the lead by scoring her sixth goal of the season, assisted by defender Christen Westphal. Westphal received the ball out wide from Colaprico before sending a long service to Morgan in the middle of the box, who headed a goal to the back of the net.

San Diego continued to press the remainder of the match and did well defensively to deny Portland’s threats for a 2-0 win. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made five saves to record her seventh clean sheet of the 2023 regular season.

Next on the schedule: Next weekend, San Diego Wave FC continues on the road against NC Courage on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Cary, North Carolina. Kicking off at 4 p.m. PT, the match will be streamed on Paramount+.


  • San Diego Wave FC has clinched a playoff berth for the second year in a row and currently sits first in the NWSL standings with 33 points. Tonight also marked San Diego’s 10th win of the regular season, marking back-to-back seasons the club has reached double-digit wins.
  • Forward Alex Morgan scored her sixth goal of the season tonight versus Portland in the 38th minute, her first goal since May 20th.
  • Carusa continued her strong form tonight, scoring her second regular season goal for the Wave since signing in August. Carusa has now scored three times in the past week after netting two goals for Ireland over the international break in the Women’s National League.
  • With her assist to Alex Morgan tonight, defender Christen Westphal recorded her sixth assist for the Wave in two seasons and is now tied with Morgan for the most assists in club history (6).
  • Dahlkemper returned to the Starting XI tonight, playing full time in her third regular season match since undergoing back surgery in 2022.

Box Score:
San Diego Wave FC 2:0 Portland Thorns

Scoring Summary:
SD – Carusa (2) Shaw (3) 20’
SD – Morgan (6) Westphal (4) 38’

Misconduct Summary:
SD – Pogarch (Caution) 77’
SD – van Egmond (Caution) 87’

San Diego Wave FC: GK Sheridan, D Westphal, D Dahlkemper, D Girma, D Pogarch, M Hill (Jakobsson 83’), M Colaprico (Dougherty Howard 83’), M van Egmond, M Shaw (Kornieck 72’), M Morgan © (Doniak 62’), F Carusa (Ali 72’)

Subs not used: GK Yáñez, D Riehl, F Barcenas, D Enge

Portland Thorns: GK Bixby, D ​​Klingenberg, D Sauerbrunn © (Hubly 64’), D Menges, D Kuikka (Reyes 74’), M Coffey, M Rodriguez (Vasconcelos 74’), M Dunn (Moultrie 64’), M Sugita, F Betfort (Sinclair 84’), F Weaver

Subs not used: GK Hogan, F D’Aquila, D Nally, M Porter

Stats Summary: SD/POR
Shots: 12 / 15
Shots on Target: 5 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corners: 5 / 9
Fouls: 12 / 8
Offsides: 1/ 0
Possession: 47.7% / 52.3%