Preview: Spirit searches for tenth win of the 2024 season, expects largest crowd in five years at Audi Field

Washington Spirit  |   June 14, 2024
Preview: Spirit searches for tenth win of the 2024 season, expects largest crowd in five years at Audi Field Featured Image

Washington, D.C. (06/14/2024) – The Washington Spirit will face San Diego Wave FC to wrap up its first half of the 2024 NWSL regular season Saturday night. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. and will be broadcast nationally on ION. Fans can also listen to the team’s first-ever local radio broadcast on or the ESPN 630 AM website or app.


The Spirit

Riding its second four-game win streak of the season and establishing club records in wins (9) and points (27) through 12 matches, the Spirit is looking to capitalize on its red-hot momentum. Last match, the Spirit triumphed over Utah Royals FC, 1-0, with Kate Wiesner the lone goal scorer. The goal marked Wiesner’s first career NWSL goal. Three of the Spirit’s four first round picks in the 2024 NWSL Draft have scored this season.

Aubrey Kingsbury came up big as well, securing the Spirit’s second clean sheet of the season and the 30th of her Spirit tenure. Kingsbury is now the fifth player in NWSL history to reach this milestone with a single club.

Saturday’s match is the first meeting between the Spirit and San Diego Wave FC this season. When playing the Wave at Audi Field, the Spirit is a perfect 2-0-0. The first was an epic 4-3 showdown, including an Ashley Hatch game-winning goal in the 100th minute. Last season, the Spirit routed the Wave to the tune of 3-1, one of which was Paige Metayer’s first career goal.

Fans should expect a high-intensity match on Saturday: there have been no clean sheets in the four all-time meetings between the Wave and Spirit with the matches having a combined 18 goals scored in them. The 4.5 combined goals per match is the highest of any fixture in NWSL history with more than one game played.

The stakes are certainly high this weekend. The Spirit leads the NWSL with nine wins and is one of three teams to ever earn three points in at least nine of its first 12 matches of a season, joining Seattle Reign FC (2014) and North Carolina Courage (2018). A key to maintaining this success throughout the 2024 season has been securing early leads. The Spirit has won or tied in 26 straight matches (19-0-7) when leading at halftime, and the team’s 17 first half strikes are the most of any team in the NWSL.

Next up, the Spirit head north to take on NJ/NY Gotham FC in a highly anticipated match. The Sunday match, now kicking off at 1:30 p.m., will broadcast nationally on ESPN and serve as the opener of a women’s sports doubleheader, including a matchup between the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky at 4 p.m. EDT.


The Opposition

Last match, San Diego Wave FC drew, 1-1, with the Orlando Pride at home. The draw ended Orlando’s eight-game win streak. In the match, San Diego attempted a season-high 17 shots, allowing just nine shots by the Pride. The +8 shot differential equals the Wave’s largest in 2024.

Notably, star forward Alex Morgan’s start last week marked her first since April 19 after missing several matches with an ankle injury. Additionally, midfielder Makenzy Doniak was the lone goal scorer, her third goal (a team high) of the season. It was her eighth goal as a substitute, more than any other player NWSL in history. Finally, with five saves, Kailen Sheridan surpassed the 500 regular season career save mark, becoming the youngest goalkeeper in NWSL history to reach the milestone. She joins Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher as the only keepers to accomplish this feat.

The Wave holds a 1-2-1 all-time record against the Spirit. A constant theme in all four matches: Alex Morgan. She has scored 11 career goals against the Spirit (all regular season), the most goals scored by any player against the Spirit across all NWSL competitions. The only players with more career regular season goals against a single NWSL team: Christine Sinclair (17 vs. Chicago) and Megan Rapinoe (13 vs. Gotham).

This matchup is a dichotomy of play styles. The Spirit ranks second in goals (26) and third in assists (19), while the Wave ranks second-to-last in goals (10) and last in assists (4). The Wave has experienced issues finding the back of the net, relying on strong defense — the Wave has only conceded 10 goals compared to the Spirit’s 16 — and heavy possession to win matches.

Last note: earlier this week, the Wave announced Camille Ashton as its new Sporting Director & General Manager. Ashton recently served as the Kansas City Current’s General Manager, a role she held from 2022 until she resigned in May 2024.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Wave as they head to New Jersey on Wednesday night to face off against NJ/NY Gotham FC at 7 p.m. EDT in a rematch of March’s Challenge Cup match.


  • The Spirit owns a 2-1-1 all-time regular season record versus San Diego Wave FC. The Spirit has won both its home matches against the Wave, scoring seven goals in those two matches.
  • With a win last week, the Spirit improved to 7-0-0 when leading at the half this year.
  • The Spirit has 10 different scorers this season, the most since 2021 — 7 (2023), 9 (2022), 10 (2021).
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