San Diego Wave break single-game NWSL attendance record and blank Angel City FC

Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan was front and centre as the National Women's Soccer League's San Diego Wave blanked Southern California rivals Angel City FC 1-0 on Saturday while setting a league attendance record of 32,000 fans. 

Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan leads expansion club to top spot in standings

Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan led the hometown San Diego Wave to a 1-0 victory over southern California rivals Angel City FC on Saturday in front of 32,000 fans, a National Women's Soccer League record. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Canadian keeper Kailen Sheridan was front and centre as the National Women's Soccer League's San Diego Wave blanked Southern California rivals Angel City FC 1-0 on Saturday while setting a league attendance record of 32,000 fans. 

The Wave, an expansion club in 2022, opened the brand-new Snapdragon Stadium on the Mission Valley campus of San Diego State University. 

Saturday's match marked the first time NWSL attendance had topped 30,000, surpassing the previous record of 25,218 by a 2019 matchup between the hometown Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage at Providence Park.

The Wave's new home will have three primary tenants, including San Diego State football and the San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby. 

Before Saturday, the Wave had spent their expansion season at the 6,000-person Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego.

The first goal in front of the capacity crowd came in the 30th minute, as 17-year-old American midfielder Jaedyn Reese Shaw headed in a cross from Sofia Jakobsson.

Sheridan, a mainstay on the Canadian Women's National Team, proved critical to the Wave in front of the record crowd, stopping four shots, including a sprawling penalty save on Savannah McCaskill in the 74th minute to maintain San Diego's 1-0 lead. 

The penalty save was the Pickering, Ont. native's third of the season on six attempts, the most by any goalkeeper in the NWSL. 

WATCH | Sheridan stops penalty, preserves shutout:

San Diego Wave FC goalie Kailen Sheridan makes penalty kick save, preserves shutout

3 months ago
Duration 1:28
Whitby, Ont., native Kailen Sheridan of San Diego Wave FC stops a penalty kick by Angel City FC's Savannah McCaskill in a 1-0 win.

With the victory, the Wave launched themselves to the top of the NWSL table with two weeks to go, leapfrogging the Houston Dash, home of Canadians Sophie Schmidt, Nichelle Prince and Alysha Chapman. 

The Wave have one home match remaining in the regular season, Sept. 30 against the North Carlina Courage, before likely hosting a home playoff match in front of what could be another sell-out crowd. 

Canadians play big minutes

Sheridan's shutout led the Canadian contributions across the four matches on Saturday night, but five other Canadians took the pitch in NWSL play. 

Prince grabbed an assist in Houston's 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars, with Bianca St-Georges picking up a yellow card for the visitors. Schmidt and Chapman both started and played 90 minutes as Houston slipped to second in the table.

Meanwhile, Jordyn Huitema played 90 minutes and took two shots for OL Reign, with Quinn appearing as a sub in the club's 2-1 win against North Carolina. 

The NWSL regular season ends Oct. 2, with the top six from the 12-team league qualifying for the playoffs. However, with two matchdays to go, no team has clinched a spot, as just nine points separate first-place San Diego and eighth-place North Carolina.


Ben Steiner

Freelance Writer

Ben Steiner is a freelance sports journalist and commentator with experience covering U SPORTS, FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, IBSF World Cup Bobsled, and the Canadian National Soccer Teams. After growing up in Vancouver, he is now based in Toronto. Twitter: @BenSteiner00

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