Alex Morgan has finally broken through.
Entering the San Diego Wave’s game against the Portland Thorn on Saturday, Morgan had not scored in her previous eight NWSL matches.
Then, in the 38th minute, Morgan headed the ball from 10 yards out into the back of the net, giving the Wave a 2-0 lead that would turn into the final result. The goal came on a cross from Christen Westphal.
“She hits great crosses, so I knew I needed to be there at the right place at the right time,” Morgan told CBS at halftime.
talk to 'em alex pic.twitter.com/GKd9NTpBiy— x - San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) October 1, 2023
talk to 'em alex pic.twitter.com/GKd9NTpBiy
Morgan looked pleased after the goal: She hugged her teammates with a relieved look on her face.
The goal also had postseason implications for the Wave. The victory marked the end of a two-game losing streak for the team, and helped San Diego clinch a spot in the NWSL playoffs.
“All-around, it was a huge performance from every single one of us,” midfielder Danielle Colaprico told the media afterward.
Morgan had last scored May 20, in the Wave’s 3-0 victory over Houston, and then she was held scoreless for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s four-game World Cup run.
She turned a corner Saturday against Portland. In addition to the goal she scored, she helped draw defenders away from Kyle Carusa earlier in the half, leading to Carusa being open for a goal.
“Because it’s Alex Morgan, they needed to make sure,” Carusa said. “What a lovely pass. Because it made my shot so much easier.”
The Wave enter their final two games of the regular season atop the NWSL standings and in line for a bye in the first round of the postseason.
San Diego hosts the North Carolina Courage next Saturday, and then finishes the regular season Oct. 15 at Racing Louisville.