League Champion Portland Is Owned by Wave in the $1 Million NWSL Challenge Cup Debut

San Diego Wave defeated Portland Thorns 1-0 on Wednesday night at Snapdragon Stadium in the opening match of the $1 million NWSL Challenge Cup.

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan stopped nine shots, including several from Portland's standout player Sophia Smith, to earn her first season shutout.

After a defeat over the weekend, Sheridan observed, "It's a great way to bounce back."

"It would be wonderful for us if the team could just recover quickly and be resilient. Simply put, I'm incredibly proud of the girls that made their debut.

To the pleasure of the crowd, San Diego standout Alex Morgan didn't come in until the 79th minute.

Jaedyn Shaw, a forward who joined the game in the 61st minute, scored the game-changing goal in the 65th minute after a scoreless first half.

After receiving a pass from midfielder Sofia Jakobsson, Shaw reacted fast and took a touch inside the area before firing a well-placed

shot that deflected off a Thorns defender and into the goal. Coach Casey Stoney of the Wave expressed her pride in the team and the fact that they prevented world-class striker Sophia Smith from scoring.