After two weeks off San Diego Wave were back in action today. The team were in sunny San Diego on a gorgeous Sunday ahead of the 4th of July holiday. It was a different lineup this time out as the team had to navigate hosting the defending champion Washington Spirit while short-handed with several players away on International duty. Despite being short-handed, and against the best efforts of a tough Washington side, Wave were able to secure the three points in a convincing 2-1 win at home.
The pitch may have looked dull on the day, but Wavé were just as sharp as they had been all season long. The team opened scoring with a gorgeous team goal in the 36th minute of the match after a bit of a feeling out process to start the match. Great passing and a perfectly timed run finished with Makenzy Doniak getting the deadly tap in right in front of goal to take the lead. Speaking of Doniak, you can read all about the start to her season and how she feels with San Diego as she took time to speak with us earlier in the week.
The Wave took advantage of a mistake right before the end of the half and doubled their lead. An interception at midfield led to a counter attack that ended in Belle Briede getting a good look at goal and slotting it past Devon Kerr to take a two goal lead into the halftime break.
Washington Spirit weren't going out without a fight, and weren't about to be shutout on the road. A great pass into the box found a leaping Jordan Baggett who put a head on it to get past Carly Telford, and pull a goal back to ruin the clean sheet for the home side.
The two goals in the first half were all Wave FC needed to come away with the three points. The win at home extends the unbeaten run to five matches. It also answers some of the questions many had about just how well this team would continue to be having to navigate missing a handful of players from the regular XI. Sure, Spirit are also missing several Internationals currently on duty, but San Diego didn't seem to miss a beat with the same methodical and deadly play we are accustomed to seeing from them this season.
The team will be on the road next week for the first regular season edition of the newest rivalry in NWSL. They will make the several hours drive North to Los Angeles to take on fellow expansion side, Angel City FC. While their next opponents are dealing with a severe injury bug, we all know rivalry matches come with a different level of intensity from both sides meaning San Diego will have to be on top of their game if they want another three points on the road.
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