Wednesday was a day Wave midfielder Taylor Kornieck is not likely to forget.
After learning earlier in the day that she’s eligible to train with the U.S. national team, Kornieck scored two goals to maintain the San Diego Futbol Club’s unbeaten streak at home in a 2-2 draw against Portland Thorns.
The 6-foot-1 midfielder scored in the 81st and 88th minutes of the nighttime match at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego.
Amirah Ali and Christen Westphal made passes, which set up Kornieck to score in the second half.
Kornieck gave credit to head coach Casey Stoney and her teammates.
“Casey has done incredible things with me,” she said, calling her fellow players some of the best players in the (National Women’s Soccer) league.”
San Diego Wave FC celebrated Pride Night in front of a sold-out crowd at Torero Stadium, with $1 from every ticket sold benefiting San Diego Pride.
“We kept pushing and pushing and never let up, that’s what got us here,” Kornieck said after the match. “I couldn’t have done it without Chris’ [Christen Westphal] amazing assist and the incredible energy from the crowd.”
Stoney said of Kornieck:” I think in the last 18 weeks, the progress she has made is all credit to her because she has worked extremely hard, she’s coachable, and she was outstanding tonight. People recognize her for her height but look at how she used her feet and the ball to dictate the game.”
Calling Portland an “excellent team,” Stoney said: “To come here and perform like we did, I’m really, really proud of this team and its growth.”
“We played arguably some of the best football we have played,” she added.
The Wave outshot the Thorns 21-9, and held 60.7% of the possession, but found themselves down two goals by the 46th minute.
The first goal of the night came in the 22nd minute after a penalty kick was called against San Diego. Thorns forward Sophia Smith put away the penalty, giving Portland the 1-0 lead.
In an attempt to answer back, Wave forward Sofia Jakobsson put a firm shot on goal that was tipped by Thorns’ keeper and appeared to be over the line, but the referee decided it wasn’t a goal, and the Wave went into the half down by one.
Portland came out of the locker room strong, tallying its second goal of the night in the 46th minute, which came from forward Christine Sinclair.
The match came after an extended road trip with mixed results.
Portland outscored San Diego twice in the preseason Challenge Cup.
Kornieck’s invitation to the national soccer camp means she will join fellow team members Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, Abby Dahlkemper and Kailen Sheridan.
Dahlkemper has been out of play due to a broken rib suffered in practice last month.
The next match is Sunday, June 12, against OL Reign at Torero Stadium.