Maybe good news also comes in threes.
San Diego Wave Fútbol Club just signed Jaedyn Shaw to her first professional contract. Shaw was called up for the U.S. Youth National Team. And Saturday she made her first goal in the National Women’s Soccer League.
And she’s only 17.
Thirteen days after signing with the club, Shaw became the second-youngest player to compete in NWSL at the age of 17 years, eight months. With her goal Saturday night against the Chicago Red Stars, the rising star made history as the youngest player to score in an NWSL debut.
At Soldiers Field against the Chicago (5-3-5), Shaw made the goal off a cross by Katie Johnson in the 28th minute as she bided her time for the right angle.
The Wave (7-3-4) won 1-0 to return themselves to first place with one point over the Portland Thorns.
The rest was a game of defense against a persistent Midwest team. Both clubs made repeated attempts at the goal, but the Wave’s Kailen Sheridan walked away with another clean sheet and her seventh penalty kick save this season.
In the 81st minute, the Red Stars earned a penalty kick and Mallory Pugh tried to tie up the score. Sheridan dove to her left and blocked the ball, preserving San Diego’s lead.
“It’s a great feeling for sure,” said the goalkeeper. “It’s awesome to keep your team in the game.”
“But ultimately, it came down to like a lot of research from the coaching staff and a lot of work from the players on the field to just make sure give me the confidence and give me insight,” Sheridan said.
Captain Abby Dahlkemper received yellow cards in the first half and the second, which will prevent her from playing in the next match. Naomi Girma also got a yellow card in the first half. Dahlkemper turned her captain duties over to Alex Morgan.
Following international competition in which the U.S. won over Canada with a successful penalty kick by Morgan off Sheridan, most of the team was back together.
Jodie Taylor has been out due to an injury and Sofia Jakobsson is still in international play for Sweden.
Midfielder Shaw, who on July 18 signed a contract through 2023 with the Wave, said making her first goal was an “honor.”
She got word this week that she’s scheduled to compete in the 2022 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica from Aug. 10-28.
Head Coach Casey Stoney said of the match effort: “It was a massive three points for us.”
On Shaw, Stoney said: “I’m so pleased with her, and she’s a fantastic addition to our roster.”
About the team, the head coach said: “I’m immensely proud of the players sticking to task and doing what they did, because it was an amazing result.”
Asked how she has instilled resilience in her team, Stoney said: “I believe in them, every single one of them, I believe in them to go out and do a job. They believe in each other.”
The team has good cohesion and great characters in the locker room, she said.
“And they fought so hard tonight,” she said. “They never give up.”
Stoney concluded: “It’s definitely my proudest moment as a head coach of this team because you saw how much fight they have now as they were willing to work for each other. So yeah, I’m a very, very happy coach tonight.”
The Wave’s next match is 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at Torero Stadium versus the Kansas City Current.
That night, as part of the 2022 Nationwide Community Impact Program, Wave FC will recognize the United Women of East Africa (UWEAST) in a pregame ceremony on-field. San Diego defender Naomi Girma will help present UWEAST with a Nationwide donation check to kick off the season-long community partnership.
Tickets are on sale for matches Saturday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 30. Originally set for 6:30 p.m., both matches now kick off at 7 p.m. from the new Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley.
Tickets are available at sandiegowavefc.com/tickets.