The San Diego Wave kicked off the 2023 NWSL season in dramatic fashion.  Competing in front more than 30,000 fans at Snapdragon Stadium, Alex Morgan converted a penalty in the 89th minute to secure a 3-2 win against the Chicago Red Stars.

The Wave’s home crowd of 30,854 broke the record for largest NWSL home opener, previously set by the Orlando Pride (23,403) in 2016.

“30,000 in the stands just kept us going,” Morgan said while walking a post-game victory lap. “Just to win in our first game, feel good going into the season, there’s no better feeling. Hopefully we get 30,000 fans next game.”

The Chicago Red Stars got on the board first with an 18th minute goal from Yuki Nagasato, but the Wave equalized quickly thanks to this Amirah Ali header (video below).

The two teams headed to halftime tied 2-2 after 18-year-old Jaedyn Shaw scored for the Wave off a corner kick. Mallory Swanson (née Pugh) then equalized for the Red Stars on a penalty (video below).

The second half was scoreless until Red Stars defender Arin Wright was called for a handball and San Diego was awarded a penalty. Alex Morgan tucked the ball just inside the left post, just out of the reach of USWNT teammate Alyssa Naeher.