San Diego Wave FC opened its 2023 season in style. More than 30,000 fans congregated on March 25 at snapdragon stadium to witness a 3-2 win over the Chicago Red Stars. With drama from beginning to end, including a late winner from the club’s biggest star, it was a perfect showcase for NWSL’s opening night. here are three post-match thoughts from the Wave’s win last Saturday.
Record after record 😎
THE SAN DIEGO WAVE BREAKS THE @NWSL HOME OPENER ATTENDANCE RECORD! 📈🌊 pic.twitter.com/QoL5NzcPVK
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 26, 2023
First-Half Goals from Unlikely Sources
After going down 1-0 in the first half, the wave would get two goals from two unlikely players. San Diego’s starting lineup came with some surprises. The second-year duo of Amirah Ali and Jaedyn Shaw made a combined 19 appearances for the club last season. While neither is unproven in their talent as they both scored 3 goals last season, the starts were certainly unexpected. Both Shaw and Ali were subbed off in the 58 and 71-minute respectfully, and they were the reason that the Wave and Red Stars went into the 2nd half 2-2.
Alex Morgan Secures Win
Thanks to her off-the-field celebrity and her on-the-field production, Alex Morgan is the face of San Diego’s young franchise. So it’s no wonder that they turned to her for the biggest of in-game responsibilities. After an 88-minute Arin Wright handball in the box, Morgan stepped up with a chance to win the match for the Wave. Last year’s golden boot winner had a Messi-like calmness as she slotted the ball into the bottom left corner. This would prove to be the dagger for a 3-2 Wave victory.
30,854 Strong at Snapdragon Stadium
On the day before the match, the club announced they had sold out their home opener. A total of 30,854 fans were on hand to witness the start of the Wave’s campaign. This is not the first time that San Diego has set attendance records. During their inaugural season in 2022, they set the league’s all-time attendance record. 32,000 saw the Wave take on Angel City FC at Snapdragon Stadium on September 17, 2022. At a turning point for recognition of women’s sports in America, San Diego’s support of their club shows that the only way is up.
Photo Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports on March 25, 2023, of San Diego Wave’s Headshot.