In the inaugural $1 million NWSL Challenge Cup, Wave owns League Champion Portland.

The San Diego Wave defeated the defending NWSL champion Portland Thorns 1-0 in the inaugural game of the $1 million NWSL Challenge Cup on Wednesday night at Snapdragon Stadium.

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made nine saves to secure her first shutout of the season, thwarting multiple opportunities by Portland's star player Sophia Smith.

"It's a great way to bounce back after a weekend loss," Sheridan remarked. "It's ideal for us just to have the team bounce back and be resilient." I'm simply so pleased of the girls that received their first chance."

To the joy of supporters, San Diego standout Alex Morgan didn't appear until the 79th minute.

After a scoreless first half, striker Jaedyn Shaw, who joined the game in the 61st minute, scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute.

Shaw took a touch inside the box and fired a well-hit effort that deflected off a Thorns defender and found the back of the net after reacting swiftly to a ball from midfielder Sofia Jakobsson.

Casey Stoney, the Wave's coach, expressed her pride in the team — and in keeping world-class attacker Sophia Smith from scoring.

But Stoney, who was upset last week because her team had three matches in a row, continues to criticize the league schedule.