Coach Casey Stoney didn’t mince words after her San Diego Wave Fútbol Club’s 1-0 loss Saturday to the Orlando Pride — its second consecutive weekend home defeat.
“It is a disappointing night — it hurts,” Stoney said. “I am gutted. The players. The clubs. The league. Deserves better. That is what I’m gutted about. I’m gutted that we lost when we had chances to win the game.”
A called penalty that resulted in the only score was strongly criticized after the National Women’s Soccer League match.
San Diego (7-5-4) had a good start with its first shot in the fifth minute, which Alex Morgan sent to the right post from the center of the box. Throughout the match, Wave made 19 shots to Orlando’s eight but were unable to finish their chances to get the win.
The match result came down to a called handball inside the Wave box in the 23rd minute. Meggie Dougherty Howard of Orlando (4-4-6) converted from the spot, sealing the win for Orlando.
Remarking after the match about the penalty call, head coach Stoney said: “She (Kaleigh Riehl) is not even looking at the ball. It hits her arm. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, to be honest. If that’s a handball, then the game is dead — it really is.”
Added Stoney: “But I can’t do anything other than pinning my players arms to their side; I can’t do anything about it.”
Following the final whistle, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan earned a straight red card for dissent. Consequently, Sheridan will not play in next week’s match.
Stoney said: “I didn’t know anything about it. I turned around and saw a red, and now I’ve got a goalkeeper crying her eyes out, absolutely devastated because she can’t even give any feedback.”
Stoney received a yellow card in the 84th minute.
About her players’ performance, Stoney said, “We were really good aside from not scoring our chances. The players did everything and more of what I asked them tonight.”
San Diego closes out its stretch of home games at Torero Stadium Saturday, Aug. 20, against the Houston Dash (7-4-4), before the team moves into the new state-of-the-art Snapdragon Stadium on Sept. 17.
August 20 is Hispanic Heritage Night, presented by XEWT Channel 12, and will be a celebratory night with a headband giveaway at the gate, limited-edition merchandise, food from Daggos and Belindas, a vibrant plaza atmosphere and live mariachi music.