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Match Recap: Angel City 0, Bay FC 1 | 3.17.24


Angel City fell 0–1 today in their season opener against new expansion side Bay FC, following a goal by forward Asisat Oshoala. A crowd of 22,000 attended the game, marking the third club’s third sold-out season opener.

"I'm disappointed but excited, because there's a lot of potential for this season, and I think that's obvious," said midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard after the game. "I think we showed like a lot of great moments, and it's just kind of like putting all the pieces together. I think it's so clear that we have those pieces, so it's just getting everyone on the same page and finding details."

The home team came close in the 7th minute when midfielder Kennedy Fuller recovered the ball deep in midfield and sent a long forward pass to forward Alyssa Thompson. Thompson drove into the box, dribbled past her mark, and put a shot on target, which was blocked by goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx. Two follow-up shots, by Fuller and forward Claire Emslie, also failed to find their mark. That multi-shot scramble was to be the first in a series of frustrating near-misses by ACFC.

After Angel City dominated the game over the first ten minutes, Bay FC found some momentum. They notched the lone goal of the game when forward Tess Boade intercepted a pass by Angel City defender MA Vignola and tapped a short through pass to forward Asisat Oshoala in the 18, who took a step and sent a hard strike into the top of the net.

The next chance for either team came in the 29th minute, when Bay midfielder Deyna Castellanos dribbled into the left side of the penalty area and took an angled shot at the near post—but it was a routine save for goalkeeper Angelina Anderson.

Angel City had another chance in the 35th minute when Fuller received a diagonal pass from the midfield, dribbled into the left side of the goal area, and sent a sideways pass in for midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard, who put her shot on target, but Proulx saved.

The momentum stayed in LA’s favor over the final ten minutes of the half, with midfielder Amandine Henry and defender Ali Riley each getting shots on target, but the team wasn’t able to put one away before the break.

Angel City stayed on the front foot heading into the second half, with Dougherty Howard getting another look in the 47th minute off a cross from Emslie. They came within inches of scoring again in the 50th minute when Emslie received a pass into the 18 from Thompson and dropped the ball back to Dougherty Howard as she made a late run. Dougherty Howard again put her shot on frame, with Proulx again saving.

Bay came close to a second in the 58th minute when Boade crashed the box, intercepting a pass to get one-on-one with Anderson—but the keeper did well to close the angle and block Boade’s low shot.

ACFC came close repeatedly in the last 20 minutes of the match, forcing several narrow goal-line saves by Bay defenders.

In the 70th minute, Emslie sent in a cross from the left that took a high bounce off a Bay defender and fell to forward Sydney Leroux. The veteran striker put a looping header on target, which Proulx impressively blocked; the ball fell to Thompson, who sent a shot over the crossbar.

The next near miss for the home side came in the 89th minute, when forward Messiah Bright dribbled into the box and sent in an angled shot, which took a deflection off of Leroux, bouncing into Proulx and back off the forward before landing on frame—but defender Caprice Dydasco arrived just in time to make the stop.

Angel City had one final look in stoppage time, when defender Merritt Mathias sent a ball over the top for Vignola, whose shot from the left side of the area hit the crossbar.

"We were creating chances and we were threatening, so obviously we want to continue with that," said Dougherty Howard. "We need to improve on putting some of those opportunities away."

The match was Mathias’s first match in an Angel City uniform, as the veteran right back had to sit out all of 2023 with injury. It also saw the professional debut of two of ACFC’s U-18 signings, Kennedy Fuller and defender Gisele Thompson.

Angel City plays next on March 22 at 5:00 PM Pacific time, on the road against Orlando.