Friday, June 21, 2024
World Elite Syndicate

NWSL Match Preview: Racing Louisville FC (2-3-4) at Washington Spirit (4-1-4)

Audi Field | Washington, District of Columbia – Saturday, June 3 at 8:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Dating back to 2022, Washington’s last three goals in this fixture have all been scored by forward Ashley Hatch. Hatch has scored six career goals in the matchup, the most of any player against Louisville in league play. Earlier this year, Washington drew 2-2 at Louisville with Hatch notching in the 16th and 32nd minutes. Hatch also leads the Spirit in scoring five goals – good enough to be tied for first in the league – with forward Trinity Rodman and midfielder Paige Metayer the only other players with more than one goal.

Louisville midfielder Jordan Baggett scored her first goal as a member of Racing with a late consolation goal in a 2-1 loss to the Courage on Saturday. All six of Baggett’s NWSL goals have come in the second half of matches, the most goals of any player in league history with 100 percent of their goals coming in the second half. Though Racing lost that night, goalkeeper Katie Lund has continued to be fantastic between the posts and is tied for the league lead in saves (38) while sitting tied for second in clean sheets (3).

Match facts: Washington Spirit hosts Racing Louisville in the reverse fixture from early April marking the final time these two teams will meet in the regular season. Currently, Washington sit in 5th place but are level on points with 2nd place Portland on points (16) and only behind on goal differential. Meanwhile, Racing Louisville sits in 8th place with 10 points, winning two of its last three games.

After a 2-2 draw in Louisville, Washington now aims to take advantage of their home environment at Audi Field, a place they are still unbeaten at through four regular season home games this season. In fact, the Spirit are unbeaten at home in all competitions (W3 D2) in 2023, scoring nine goals while allowing just four in those five matches. Washington has not had a longer single-season home unbeaten streak since a seven-game run (W5 D2) to end the 2016 season (all competitions).

Racing Louisville scored a 2-0 win against Kansas City in its last road game in league play for the team’s fourth ever regular season road victory (W4 D10 L14). Louisville has never won two games in a span of fie league road games, let alone consecutive away matches. However, Racing’s 2-0 win over Chicago in the Challenge Cup midweek marked the first time the club has won consecutive away matches this season with the club looking to continue its early momentum.

That 2-2 draw earlier this season means that each of the last three meetings have been draws in which both teams have scored. Only two fixtures in league history have seen longer streaks of scoring draws (CHI vs. POR, 5 straight ending in 2015 & LOU vs. RGN, 4 straight active).

Noted (via Jen Cooper, The Keeper):

  • Next appearance for Washington forward Trinity Rodman will be the 50th of her regular-season career. She’ll be the 19th player to make 50 appearances for the club, and the youngest to hit that milestone for the Spirit.
  • Next clean sheet for Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury will be her 30th in regular season play. Only 3 keepers have recorded more than 30 (her WAS teammate Nicole Barnhart, KC Adrianna Franch, CHI Alyssa Naeher).
  • Next assist for Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo will be the 5th of her NWSL career and will set a new club record. She’s currently tied with Cece Kizer (now with KC) and Jess McDonald (on maternity leave).
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