San Diego, CA (07/03/2022) – The Washington Spirit fell short in the club’s first trip to California Sunday afternoon. In the side’s first match of the season without its seven USWNT players, the Spirit dropped to 1-4-6 with a 2-1 loss to San Diego Wave FC.
In her first career regular season start, goalkeeper Devon Kerr kicked off the action with her first career save in the fourth minute of play. Nine minutes later, another first-time starter nearly got the Spirit on the board early when Marissa Sheva found herself open at the top of the box and fired a shot just wide right. The San Diego attack responded in the 18th minute with a chance of its own when Marleen Schimmer received a through ball at the top of the box and sent a wide open shot high.
The Spirit defense remained locked in over the course of the following 16 minutes as it was able to put a stop to several San Diego chances. In the 24th minute, Dorian Bailey poked the ball away from a breaking Wave player to prevent a breakaway opportunity. Six minutes later, San Diego placed a corner kick in close at the middle of the box but Kerr jumped up to intercept the ball. The very next minute, Kelsey Turnbow fired a shot from just outside the top of the box high and, in the 34th, first-time captain Sam Staab blocked another Turnbow shot from the right side of the box.
San Diego broke through in the 36th minute when Christen Westphal sent a cross from near the end line to Makenzy Doniak who buried a close-range shot for the 1-0 lead. In the following ten minutes, Devon Kerr made two more stops when she handled a shot from outside the right side of the box and intercepted a free kick deep in the box. Just before the end of stoppage time, however, San Diego doubled its lead when Belle Briede found the back of the net from out front after receiving an entry pass from Schimmer.
Wave FC threatened to tack on another goal early in the second half but the Spirit defending third was able to clear away a loose ball out front in the 51st minute. The 58th minute saw the Spirit’s best offensive look of the day to that point when substitute Tara McKeown charged down the left side of the field, cut back into the box and found space to fire a shot directly on net that was saved by Wave FC keeper Carly Telford.
In minute 59, Kerr made the save of the match when she tipped Katie Johnson’s driving shot that looked ready to connect with the back of the net. Four minutes later, Kristen McNabb was able to put her head on a corner kick from Marleen Schimmer but sent the ball over the crossbar. The Spirit was able to put together two good chances from Anna Heilferty and Taylor Aylmer in the early 70s. In the 71st, Heilferty fired a shot on goal from inside the box that was turned away for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Aylmer lifted up for a header from close range that went high.
San Diego’s final offensive chance came in the 84th minute when Katie Johnson fired a shot wide right from outside the box. In the final minute of stoppage time, substitutes Jordan Baggett and Tara McKeown teamed up for Washington’s lone goal of the match. McKeown crossed a ball to Baggett on the right side of the six-yard box who finished the job with a header past the Wave FC keeper. Despite one last push in the final seconds, Washington was not able to pull even and ended up with its fourth loss of the season.
The Spirit will return home this week and prepare to take on the new-name Kansas City Current next Sunday at Segra Field before finally returning to Audi Field for a contest with the Orlando Pride on Sunday, July 17.
-NWSL Match Report-
Match: San Diego Wave FC vs. Washington Spirit
Date: July 3, 2022
Venue: Torero Stadium
Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. PT
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees
SD – Makenzy Doniak – 36’
SD – Belle Briede – 45’+4’
WAS – Jordan Baggett – 90’+3’
SD: 21- Carly Telford; 14- Kristen McNabb; 19- Tegan McGrady (26- Mia Gyau 80’); 18- Kaleigh Riehl; 2- Abby Dahlkemper; 23- Belle Briede (33- Katie Johnson 46’); 5- Emily van Egmond; 27- Marleen Schimmer; 20- Christen Westphal; 15- Makenzy Doniak (7- Amirah Ali 63’); 6- Kelsey Turnbow (35- Jackie Altschuld 80’)
Unused Substitutes: 25- Kayla Bruster; 29- Taylor Hansen; 31- Melissa Lowder; 17- Sydney Pulver; 24- Sarah Sodoma
WAS: 18- Devon Kerr; 16- Julia Roddar; 3- Sam Staab; 4- Karina Rodriguez; 30- Camryn Biegalski (7- Taylor Aylmer 61’); 19- Dorian Bailey (11- Jordan Baggett 62’); 27- Audrey Harding (17- Tinaya Alexander 79’); 29- Maddie Elwell (9- Tara McKeown 46’); 13- Bayley Feist; 25- Marissa Sheva; 34- Jamia Fields (21- Anna Heilferty 46’)
Unused Substitutes: 28- Nicole Barnhart; 22- Amber Brooks; 8- Averie Collins; 24- Alia Martin
Stats Summary: SD / WAS
Shots: 12 / 6
Shots On Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Shots Blocked: 2 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 11
Offsides: 2 / 0
WAS – Tinaya Alexander – 90’+2’ – Yellow Card