Utah Royals FC Go Down Early, Drop Second-Straight Game in San Diego

May 8, 2024, 10:07 PM

Utah Royals FC San Diego Wave NWSL...

(Photo courtesy of Utah Royals FC)

(Photo courtesy of Utah Royals FC)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Utah Royals FC is now winless in its last six matches as they dropped a second-straight game against the San Diego Wave FC on Wednesday.

Once San Diego took the lead in the 35th minute, it was smooth sailing from there. The Wave played very methodically and never really allowed the Royals to build much momentum.

Utah will look to snap its two-game losing streak on the road in Chicago against the Red Stars on May 12 or in North Carolina against the Courage on May 17.

Royals Fall To Wave In Snapdragon Stadium

First Half

Utah came out of the gates aggressively looking to take advantage of a shorthanded San Diego team.

However, the fast-paced playstyle almost immediately worked against them. The Royals struggled to keep possession in the opening 20 minutes and spent most of that time on their defensive third.

Despite these facts, it was actually Utah who took the first shot of the game in the 20th minute. Amandine Henry loaded up from outside the box but was off the mark.

Following that first attempt, things heated up a bit for Utah. They lined up for back-to-back corners in the 22nd minute and seemed to be knocking on the door of a first-half goal.

Then, in the 32nd minute, the momentum took a drastic shift. San Diego’s Kimmi Ascanio maneuvered into the box and sent a right-footed shot toward the right post but it was blocked by Paige Monaghan.

The play went to VAR Decision where it was found that Monaghan redirected the shot with her wrist. The Wave was awarded a penalty kick.

Jaedyn Shaw stepped up and put it in the top right of the goal to give the home club a 1-0 advantage.

The Royals nearly found an equalizer in the 39th minute. Ally Sentnor sent a perfect left-footed cross to Monaghan in the middle but her sliding attempt was off.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added to the first half.

In the 45th, Sentnor looked to make another play as she took a shot from outside the box but San Diego goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made the save.

Utah went into the break trailing 1-0.

Second Half

The Royals got the first good look of the half in the 48th minute as Hannah Betfort missed a shot from outside the box to the left.

From there, San Diego took control of the game once again.

The Wave got two decent looks on goal in the 52nd and 54th minutes. The first attempt was blocked and the second was a little too high.

In the 59th minute, the Royals were just inches from tying the game at one apiece. Monaghan put an excellent cross right in front of the net and Betfort was there for the close-range header. The ball came straight up and bounced off the post back into the center of the field.

With a goal lead and 30 minutes left in regulation, San Diego began to play very defensively. They may have sacrificed some offensive opportunities but it made it very tough for Utah to get anything going on SDFC’s half.

For the 15 minutes following Betfort’s header attempt, the Royals only got one shot off that was quickly blocked.

Even though the Wave didnt get many opportunities to set up their offense, they still had the threat of a counterattack.

That threat proved lethal for Utah in the 77th minute. San Diego took advantage of a Utah turnover and Makenzy Doniak doubled the lead for San Diego with a left-footed shot from the center of the box.

In the 85th minute, Sentnor was on the receiving end of a cross in the box. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NWSL draft attempted to sneak a shot through but had it blocked.

Sentnor was put in almost the same scenario in the 89th minute and wasn’t able to get a quality shot off.

Five minutes of stoppage time was added to the second half.

San Diego wasn’t satisfied with the 2-0 lead as stoppage time ticked down. The Wave nearly buried a third goal in the 93rd minute but Utah was able to get a clear.

With the 2-0 loss in San Diego, the Royals have now dropped five of the last six games.

How To Watch Utah Royals FC, NWSL Matches In 2024 Season

Like many other leagues, the NWSL broadcasts its games on a handful of channels and platforms.

TV options include CBS, ESPN, and ION network. Streaming options include Prime Video, Paramount+, ESPN+, and NWSL+.

Live radio calls of every game can be found on KSLSports.com. Select games will be broadcast on the KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM/1160 AM).

Check out where to watch each Utah Royals game here.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports. 

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Utah Royals FC Go Down Early, Drop Second-Straight Game in San Diego