San Diego Wave FC (1-0-0, 3 points) opened the 2023 NWSL season with a 3-2 win against Chicago Red Stars (0-1-0, 0 points) on Saturday evening in front of 30,854 fans at Snapdragon Stadium.
The Red Stars took the lead in the 18th minute when midfielder Yuki Nagasato sent a close-ranged shot just wide of Wave FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
San Diego leveled in the 22nd minute via forward Amirah Ali, who scored her first of the regular season with the equalizer. Defender Christen Westphal struck a ball on frame that required a save from Chicago’s Naeher. The ball fell to Ali, who headed the ball to the back of the net.
The Wave added a second goal in the 32nd minute off a corner kick. After a clearance in the box, forward Jaedyn Shaw intercepted the ball on the top of the box. The 18-year-old took a touch and placed a driven shot into the back of the net, logging her first goal of the season.
In stoppage time of the first half, Chicago was awarded a penalty kick that was converted by forward Mallory Swanson to equalize before the end of the half.
Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made a couple of standout saves in the second half after the Red Stars created several scoring opportunities. But the Wave would end up earning the three points with Morgan’s penalty kick. Morgan sent her shot low and to the right of Naeher to seal the scoring on the night.
Next on the schedule: San Diego Wave FC will remain at home at Snapdragon Stadium to host North Carolina Courage on Saturday, April 1. The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on Paramount+.
- With an announced attendance of 30,854, San Diego Wave now holds the record for largest attendance at an NWSL Home Opener. The previous record was held by Orlando Pride with 23,403 on April 23, 2016, at the Citrus Bowl in the club’s inaugural match.
- The Wave have now won two out of two season openers and two out of two home openers.
- Forward Amirah Ali scored her first goal of the 2023 regular season and the third of her professional career.
- At just 18-years-old, forward Jaedyn Shaw scored her fourth professional goal and her first of 2023. The forward scored three goals last season in her rookie campaign with the Wave.
- Forward Alex Morgan became one of just 20 players across the league to kick off the 2023 NWSL season that was on an active roster for the league’s inaugural season home openers in 2013.
- Morgan secured the victory after converting a penalty kick in the 89th minute and scoring her first goal of the season. It marked her 58th career goal in NWSL.
- Danielle Colaprico earned her first start and appearance for the club. The midfielder signed during the offseason as a free agent after spending her first eight years in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars.
- Saturday’s game marked the first of two consecutive home matches for the Wave.