Preview: Spirit looks to bounce back on the road against San Diego Wave FC

Washington Spirit  |   July 7, 2023
Preview: Spirit looks to bounce back on the road against San Diego Wave FC Featured Image

San Diego, Calif. (07/07/2023) – The Washington Spirit will face San Diego Wave FC in both sides’ 15th regular season match of 2023. The match kicks off at 10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, CA. and will broadcast nationally on Paramount+ for fans across the United States. International viewers can stream the match on 


The Spirit 

Coming off its worst loss of the season, the Spirit looks to bounce back on Saturday night. Last week, the Orlando Pride handled the Spirit, 0-3, in the team’s first regular season loss at Audi Field this season. The loss marks back-to-back losses for the team – its first since last season. 


The three-goal home defeat was the team’s first since September 23, 2017 when the Boston Breakers left the DMV with three points. Scoreless, the Spirit also snapped its streak of scoring a goal in nine consecutive regular season matches, the third-longest such streak in team history. Additionally, the Pride swept the season series between the two sides for the first time.  


Contrast last Saturday’s match with its performance on May 6 – the last time the Spirit faced San Diego Wave FC. Arguably its most decisive victory of the season, the Spirit cruised to a 3-1 statement victory at Audi Field during a nationally televised match on CBS.  


In that game, Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez and Paige Metayer scored goals. In doing so, Rodman became the first player to record 10 career regular season goals and assists before turning 21, while Metayer logged her first career NWSL goal. Wave FC forward Alex Morgan tacked on a goal in the waning moments of the game, the first goal scored by a Spirit opponent at Audi Field this season. 


The two clubs share an exciting history with one another. A total of 14 goals have been scored in the three matches between San Diego (six) and Washington (eight). The 4.67 combined goals per game average is the highest of any fixture in NWSL history. 


The Spirit has scored at least one goal in all seven regular season road games this season. It is the longest road scoring streak in the regular season in Spirit team history. 


Despite the back-to-back losses, the Spirit’s 23 points rank third all-time in club history through 14 regular season matches, trailing only the 2016 (29 points) and 2015 (24 points) squads. The team sits at fourth on the NWSL table, just three points shy of the first place North Carolina Courage.  


Following Saturday’s match, the Spirit will recuperate, with two weeks until its next match. On July 22, the Spirit will travel to Cary, North Carolina to face the North Carolina Courage in a 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup match at 7 p.m. EDT.   


The Opposition 

Wave FC enters Saturday night’s match similarly desperate, losing in its most recent regular season match to the Chicago Red Stars. The 0-1 loss for San Diego came on the road to a Red Stars team that, despite the three points earned versus San Diego, occupies the bottom spot on the NWSL table with 13 points through 14 games. The Red Stars have given up a league-high 33 goals this season, and its shutout versus San Diego was its second of the season and first since May 27. 


In last weekend’s match, Wave FC midfielder Taylor Kornieck made her 50th NWSL regular season appearance. The loss was one of San Diego’s four straight losses (all competitions) this season. All four of those defeats have come by one goal. Prior to the streak, Wave FC had four losses in 13 total matches (7-4-2). The team’s last regular season victory came over a month ago – June 4 versus NJ/NY Gotham FC. 


Currently, Wave FC sits in sixth place – the final playoff-eligible spot – on the NWSL table with a 6-6-2 (20 points) record. A four-point difference in either direction separates Wave FC from 3rd and 9th place on the table, respectively. 


Wave FC forward Alex Morgan and defender Naomi Girma were called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. Thus, midfielder Danielle Colaprico will be wearing the captain’s armband, doing so in last week’s match for the first time since signing as a free agent with San Diego this past offseason. 


Wave FC started the season off hot at home – a perfect 3-0-0 record through all competitions. Since then, the team is winless – 0-4-1. One hallmark of Wave FC home matches is goals. In eight home matches in San Diego (all competitions) this season, there have been a combined 21 goals scored, tallying nearly three a match.  


Next up, San Diego Wave FC will take on Portland Thorns FC on July 21 at 10:30 p.m. EDT in a 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup match. 


  • Earlier this week, first-year midfielder Paige Metayer was named the NWSL’s Rookie of the Month, presented by Ally.  
  • In Washington’s loss to Orlando, Sam Staab had a game-high 111 touches, the most by a Spirit player this season. The only player with more touches in a league match this season was Tierna Davidson, who had 112 for Chicago in an April match versus OL Reign.  
  • All 15 players that saw the field for San Diego in its 0-1 loss against Chicago were American. For the season, 84.2% of the total minutes played by Wave FC players in league play have been by U.S.-born players. Only Kansas City (89.3%) and Gotham FC (86.1%) have a higher percentage.  
  • Former Spirit players meet again: 
    • Wave FC goalkeeper Shae Yanez signed her first professional contract with the Spirit in 2019.
    • Wave FC midfielder Meggie Doughtery Howard played with the Spirit from 2017-20, making 68 appearances.
    • Wave FC forward Jaedyn Shaw spent most of the 2022 season training with the Spirit before signing with San Diego through the NWSL discovery process. 
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