Kansas City Current extinguish San Diego Wave in first regular season road match Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current extinguish San Diego Wave in first regular season road match

The Kansas City Current (2-0-0, 6pts.) defeated the San Diego Wave (0-1-0) to capture the first road win of the season and to remain undefeated. It took an early equalizer from defender Izzy Rodriguez and a precise penalty kick from midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta to seal the deal, defeating the 2023 NWSL Shield Winner in front of a National Women’s Soccer League home opener record 32,066 fans at Snapdragon Stadium.

“I said it today again in the huddle after the game, we won this game because we are Kansas City…resilience, grit, fight and heart,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “That’s who we are. In order to get points here in San Diego, you have no chance unless you show up the way we did today. I’m glad we were able to do that and now we are moving on. Obviously, happy for the points, but we also know there are 24 games left in the season.”

Forward Temwa Chawinga, making her first career NWSL start, was all over the pitch. In the 8th minute Chawinga got in behind the back line off a beautiful ball from forward Bia Zaneratto and laying it off to forward Alexa Spaanstra. The play ended up being called offside, but it set the tone for how dangerous the Kansas City attack could be.

The Current defense was rock solid early as the Wave jumped held a big possession advantage early in the game. Through the first 16 minutes of the match, San Diego had already tallied 8 shots, but none of them had found their target.

Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch made an incredible diving save in the 18th minute, swatting the ball off the line. Unfortunately for the Current the ball bounced right to Wave forward Sofia Jakobsson for the 1-0 lead.

Chawinga would not let up, she was relentless in her pursuit to equalize with four shots in the first half, and all of them coming from inside the penalty box. In the 26th minute, she found herself pulling away from her defender on the left side of the box and hit a shot that pinged off the nearside post.

Not even a minute later Chawinga collided with the San Diego keeper, Kailen Sheridan, in an attempt to convert that just barely avoided ending in success. Chawinga found midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo wide open in the middle of the field in the 33rd minute. Looking up, the veteran midfielder lined up a shot that required an incredible, off the fingertips, save from San Diego’s Sheridan that just barely deflected over the top of the net.

Defender Izzy Rodriguez found the equalizer for the Current just before halftime. Controlling a ricocheting ball in the box, Rodriguez turned a one-time shot that deflected off her defender and in. The second-year defender’s score in the 44th minute was her first of the season. The Current and Wave went into halftime tied at 1-1.

The second half opened with the teams locked in a defensive battle. Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch saved the day with two quality back-to-back saves in the 62nd minute, denying Alex Morgan a game-changing goal. A massive moment that kept the match tied 1-1.

Brazilian forward Bia Zaneratto was also a powerful force for the Current in this match. Her size and ability to play off her teammates kept her in the thick of the action throughout the match. In the 71st minute, Zaneratto dribbled through three defenders to the right of the box and found herself clear to dribble on the goal. Trying to catch up to her, a Wave defender tripped Zaneratto several steps into the penalty box. The Video Assistant Referee sent the play to review, and a penalty kick was awarded and LaBonta stepped up to take the Penalty. Kansas City’s captain approached with her right foot and buried it right down the middle to give Kansas City the 2-1 lead. LaBonta extends her record as Kansas City’s all-time Penalty leader and has converted six of seven in the regular season for the club.

As the rain picked up late in the second half, the resilience of the Kansas City defense was on full display. There was no-give as ten minutes of stoppage time mounted and the defense finished strong. The final whistle came in the 13 minutes after the clock hit 90 minutes, as the Current ended the match with a 2-1 victory.

Showing improvement on defense, the Current protected the lead to remain undefeated, take home three points and in back-to-back weeks, bring down the top two finishers from the previous NWSL season. Seven different players have scored for the KC Current this season, the most in the first two matches of a season for any team in NWSL history.

The Current return to CPKC Stadium next week for the second match in the first stadium purpose-built for a women’s professional team as they host Angel City FC at 2:30 pm CT.

NWSL Match Report
Match: San Diego Wave vs. Kansas City Current
Date: March 23, 2024
Venue: Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego, CA   
Kickoff: 9:05 p.m. CT/7:05 PT
Weather: 55 degrees, cloudy 
Attendance: 32,066

24’ Kansas City – Hutton (Yellow)
90’+9 Kansas City – Lavogez (Yellow)

17’ San Diego – Jakobsson
44’ Kansas City – Rodriguez
71’ Kansas City - LaBonta

Scoring Summary





San Diego




Kansas City




San Diego Wave Lineup: Sheridan, Lundkvist, Girma, Dahlkemper, Westphal (70’ Torpey), van Egmond, Doniak (64’ Shaw), Ali (45’ Colaprico), Morgan © (82’ Bennett), McCaskill, Jakobsson (82’ Carusa)
Unused Substitutes: Enge, McNabb, Barcenas, Beall

Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez, Robinson, Ball, Wheeler, Hutton, DiBernardo (72’ Lavogez), LaBonta ©, Spaanstra (88’ Ballisager), Zaneratto (72’ Hamilton), Chawinga (72’ Pfeiffer)
Unused Substitutes: Steigleder, Feist, Silkowitz, Braun, Lauren



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