Racing Louisville FC falls 2-1 to NJ/NY Gotham FC

Racing Louisville FC will begin play in the spring of 2021 as an expansion franchise in the...
Racing Louisville FC will begin play in the spring of 2021 as an expansion franchise in the National Women's Soccer League.(Source: Racing Louisville FC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 11:50 PM EDT
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Louisville - Racing Louisville FC produced significantly more scoring opportunities Friday night at Lynn Family Stadium but dropped a frustrating 2-1 decision to NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

Gotham took the lead well against the run of play in the 25th minute, converting a counterattack. Racing’s Savannah DeMelo tied the game in the 67th minute with her third goal of the season, but Gotham scored the game-winner in the 80th minute through Taylor Smith. 

“We played well until they scored their first goal, then the energy dropped a little,” said Racing coach Kim Björkegren. “We created enough chances to win the game.  We had more shots, more possession and all of the things like that, but it feels like the same old story. We have too many mistakes that are costing us points.” 

The loss continued a rough spell for Racing, extending the team’s winless streak to six matches. But Björkegren, DeMelo and midfielder Alex Chidiac remained confident that Racing (2-5-4, 10 points) can start turning good performances into both wins and more goals. 

“It’s a long season,” DeMelo said. “We still have a lot of games coming up, and if we just win the next couple games, I think we’re right back in (the playoff chase). So, I think we have to stay positive and focus on the next one and getting three points.” 

Racing outshot Gotham, 24-9, and doubled Gotham in expected goals (1.98-0.91).

The home team pounded at the door early on, too, with rookie forward Kirsten Davis twice coming close and second-year attacker Emina Ekic’s 25-yard free kick requiring a diving save from Gotham goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Gotham’s Paige Monaghan stole the ball at midfield as Racing sought to control possession in the 25th minute and slotted home the go-ahead goal on the breakaway. 

Racing’s continued pressure on Gotham opened the door for DeMelo’s goal – a continuation of the rookie midfielder’s electric play amid a National Women’s Soccer League Rookie of the Year campaign. DeMelo, who had just moved from central midfield to left forward, intercepted a pass in the attacking half and immediately took on multiple defenders, dribbling to her right foot and curling in a shot inside the right post from 18 yards out. 

Chidiac, the Australian midfielder, fizzed the post on a long-range effort in the 70th minute, and Racing ultimately wound up with 42 crosses, nine corners and eight shots on target but only the one goal. 

Again against the run of play, Smith scored off an interception in Gotham’s attacking half, carrying from near midfield on her right foot and scoring just inside the area. “It’s a little bit frustrating, but we’ve got a really good group of girls and a really great staff as well,” Chidiac said. “I think things will get better.” 

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 

Date: July 8, 2022 

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium 

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET 

Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy 

Player of the Match: Savannah DeMelo 

Attendance: 5,771 

Scoring Racing Louisville FC (0, 1, 1) NJ/NY Gotham FC (1, 1, 2) 

Goals Racing Louisville: 67′ Savannah DeMelo NJ/NY

Gotham FC 25′ Paige Monaghan (Delanie Sheehan) 81′ Taylor Smith 

Lineups Racing Louisville FC (4-2-3-1): 1 – Katie Lund; 2- Lauren Milliet, 15 – Julia Lester, 4 – Gemma Bonner (c), 30 – Zaneta Wyne (87′ 12 – Taylor Malham); 6 – Jaelin Howell (88′ 17 – Nealy Martin), 7 – Savannah DeMelo; 14 – Jess McDonald, 27 – Alex Chidiac, 13 – Emina Ekic (66′ 8 – Freja Olofsson); 22 – Kristen Davis (75′ 21 – Parker Goins) Subs not used: 18 – Hillary Beall, 24 – Jordyn Bloomer; 29 – Allison Whitfield, 33 – Isabella Beletic; 28 – Hannah Adler Head Coach: Kim Björkegren  

NJ/NY Gotham FC (4-2-3-1): 18 – Ashlyn Harris; 3 – Caprice Dydasco (87′ 21 – Ellie Jean), 22 – Mandy Freeman, 11 – Ali Krieger, 28 – Imani Dorsey; 6 – Jen Cudjoe, 7 – McCall Zerboni; 4 – Paige Monaghan (80′ 2 – Cameron Tucker), 14 – Delanie Sheehan, 9 – Nahomi Kawasumi; 20 – Taylor Smith (83′ 44 – Jenna Bike) Subs not used: 1 – Michelle Betos; 5 – Nicole Baxter, 13 – Kumi Yokoyama, 15 – Sabrina Flores, 26 – Amanda Visco, 27 – Kelly Ann Livingstone Head Coach: Scott Parkinson 

Stats Summary: 

Racing Louisville / Gotham FC Shots: 23 / 9 

Shots on Goal: 9 / 4 

Possession: 52.4% / 47.6% 

Fouls: 12 / 16 

Offside: 1 / 2 

Corner Kicks: 9 / 3 

Discipline Summary Racing Louisville FC: 58′ Julia Lester (yellow) 85′ Jaelin Howell (yellow) 90′+1 Savannah DeMelo (yellow) NJ/NY Gotham FC:  23′ Caprice Dydasco (yellow)  24′ Imani Dorsey (yellow) 28′ Scott Parkinson (coach) (yellow) 43′ McCall Zerboni (yellow) 73′ Jennifer Cudjoe (yellow) 

Referee: Danielle Chesky

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