Wave grab much-needed NWSL victory over Royals

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
The Wave beat the Royals behind the efforts of Jaedyn Shaw.

Midfielder Jaedyn Shaw and forward Makenzy Doniak scored and goaltender Kailen Mary Iacovoni Sheriden stopped four shots, powering the San Diego Wave to a 2-0 NWSL victory over the Utah Royals on Wednesday night at Snapdragon Stadium.

The victory improved the Wave to 3-1-3 and gave them points in two of their last three matches. The expansion Royals fell to 1-1-6 with a league-low four points.

The Wave were missing Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma and Abby Dahlkemper, but they capitalized on their few chances. They had five shots on goal and nine shots overall. 

Shaw scored a penalty kick away into the top corner 35 minutes into the match, giving the Wave a 1-0 lead. The kick was set up by 16-year-old midfielder Kimmi Ascanio, whose shot was blocked by Royals forward Paige Monaghan via a handball in the box. 

Shaw returned to the starting lineup after entering as a substitute in the Wave’s previous two matches and was the catalyst of their attack. The goal was her her second of the season.

“I am proud of myself,” Shaw said. “My first pro[fessional] penalty. Got that one out of the way, the nerves out the way, and hopefully, I can have a couple of more.”

Shaw assisted a goal in the 77th minute when she sent a well-placed through ball to Doniak, who scored.  

“I just wanted to play my game,” Shaw said. “I am confident in my abilities and I know I can impact this team, so just doing that and taking on whatever role it is to help my team win.

“That is what I came out here to do today.”

Also notable was Maria Sanchez making her first start for the Wave. The winger, who joined the Wave via a trade from the Houston Dash, played 70 minutes, took 46 touches and made one shot, according to Sofascore.

The win moved the Wave to eighth in the NWSL standings with 10 points. They next play Sunday when they host Gotham.