Sports stats

 Angel City FC

Angel City Football Club Earns One Point Against SoCal Rival San Diego Wave FC

May 24, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Angel City FC News Release

LOS ANGELES - Angel City Football Club (ACFC) earned a clean sheet tonight in a 0-0 home draw with SoCal rival San Diego Wave FC.

The first action of the first half came in the eighth minute when San Diego midfielder Savannah McCaskill dribbled into the box and took a shot toward the near post; Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haračić dove left to make the save.

ACFC had their first look in the 12th minute when midfielder Rocky Rodríguez sent a through ball into the penalty area for forward Claire Emslie. Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan went to ground to claim the ball, but bobbled it; Emslie didn't quite put her foot through the ball, and Sheridan claimed it on her second try.

San Diego had a pair of chances in the 29th and 31st minutes, first by forward María Sanchez, who headed a cross into the six-yard box over the bar. In the 31st minute, McCaskill sent a looping pass into the box for Sanchez, which she tapped to defender Hanna Lundkvist. Lundkvist took a touch to find space and took her shot, which also went high.

The home team had another look in the 38th minute, when a cross by Emslie was blocked by the San Diego defense. Midfielder Clarisse Le Bihan picked up the recycled ball at the opposite side of the box and played it back in for forward Sydney Leroux, but the ball fell straight to Sheridan.

The second half was relatively uneventful until the final minutes, with each team recording just a single shot on target by the final whistle.

An 85th-minute chance by Rodríguez was the best for Angel City to that point; the midfielder found herself open 20 yards from goal and uncorked a shot that went just wide of the near post.

In the 93rd minute, defender M.A. Vignola had the best chance of the game for Angel City, sprinting forward up the left wing and cutting inside to shoot from the corner of the six-yard box. Her sharply angled shot deflected off a defender for a corner kick.

Haračić came up big in the final minutes of stoppage time, narrowly blocking a headed shot by midfielder Emily Van Egmond, then blocking forward Alex Morgan's headed follow-up of the rebounded ball.

Haračić recorded five saves in what was Angel City's second shutout of the season.

ACFC plays next on Saturday, June 8 away at NJ/NY Gotham FC at 9:30 a.m. Pacific. The game will be broadcast on CBS and Paramount+.


ACFC Defender Madison Curry

On adjusting to play the central defender position:

"It's the people around me that really helped me. It's believing in the identity we've built as a team. Going into preseason knowing roles that are different from your own because it's a long season with a small roster."

"Injuries happen, things don't go ideally, so it's being ready to be the next man up in whatever capacity that comes in. Mistakes happen. I definitely made a lot of mistakes, but the team around me supported me and sort of dragged me along."

On the spaces she felt San Diego was trying to exploit:

"They wanted to get in behind us. That was their goal of the game with their athletic force. For me, it was understanding if I can't beat them in a foot race right off the bat, just being smarter and getting to space first."

On Sarah Gorden leaving the match injured last game:

"When Sarah goes out, we do it for Sarah the next game. She's our main motivation for the next game because she puts in the most work each day at practice in the locker room and she's created this environment, so we almost want to win more to show her like 'we got you.' You can take your time to rest and we'll be welcome when you come back."

ACFC Goalkeeper DiDi Haračić

On the double save at the last moment:

"It's a matter of how we can make a chaotic moment so calm, and that's something we train on. It's just going through my routines, my rituals, my habits. The goal is to keep it out of the back of the net at the end of the day. I'm happy about it and the entire team, I think it was an entire game of just grit and getting a point."

On getting a clean sheet without Sarah Gorden defender:

"It just shows the depth that we have on the squad, that no matter who comes in any day, it's going to be quality players. We missed Sarah, she's a big piece of our team, but at the end of the day, I'm confident in whoever steps into any role."

On playing against former teammate Savannah McCaskill:

"Savannah is an amazing player. It's always fun playing against her. She's very competitive and it comes from a place of wanting to make everyone better. So it's always an honor and a blessing to play with her."

ACFC Head Coach Becki Tweed

On improvements the team made:

"We talked a lot this week about our mentality and how we need to deal with things when they aren't going our way. We showed a new level of mental strength and toughness tonight, a level that should be there. We should demand it from each other every week. The last nine minutes were crazy. You've seen us crumble in past weeks in those nine minutes. Today I felt like everybody was tuned in. We were together. The clean sheet is a huge positive and it's something we've been talking about for a long time.

On how she felt about nine minutes of stoppage:

You have to be 120 minutes fit these days just to make sure you can get through the game. At nil-nil, you want the time because you want to go and try to score on the other end. You can take it how you want, but you could have kept playing that game.

"We had spells where you could see what we were trying to do. Once we get into those areas, being more patient. We get into the final third and we think that we've broken in and now we've got to go to goal. There are times where we actually need to possess the ball."

On M.A. Vignola's performance:

"M.A. [Vignola] coming off the bench last week and this week created opportunities for us that, in other moments, we have to put our body on the line a bit more and leave our feet. Those should be goals. She put an incredible ball across the box with only a few minutes left to go. It's the hardest part of the game and we still know that we have worked to do that. I want to focus on the positive today of that clean sheet because that's something that we have struggled with in the last few weeks."

On Defender Madi Curry's performance:

"I don't think there's anything that Madi Curry can't do, honestly. She could be a winger and she could be a center back. I think she's the steal of the draft. She applies herself. She's not fazed by anything. It can be quite daunting to play center back against your rival team at home. It didn't look like she hadn't played there since her club days. She's so versatile. She'll do anything that you ask her to do. She has the complete tendencies and instincts of a defender. She's not afraid to leave her feet. She'll tackle, she's good on the ball. There's a lot more of Madi Curry to come."

On countering San Diego's gameplan:

"We knew they were going to be direct. We were okay with it. We knew they were going to try and play long. We wanted to win the first and the second balls. We talked at halftime that we weren't good enough on the second balls. We limited their chances in behind and the one or two they did have was caused by us, but didn't really cause us problems."

"We knew what they were going to do. We knew they were gonna go long the minute that we saw Elyse Bennett as the nine. We knew they were going to press us a bit higher."

On the team's defensive performance:

"DiDi [Haračić] had an incredible game. The first 20 minutes were a bit shaky for us and she kept us in the game. Defensively [it was] a good performance. We have to take the positive of having a clean sheet, not just the defensive work that everybody did, but the mentality piece that we've really challenged our team with this week."

• Discuss this story on the National Women's Soccer League message board...

National Women's Soccer League Stories from May 24, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central