Racing Louisville settles for one point again, a 1-1 draw with Washington

Racing Louisville FC forward Nadia Nadim
Racing Louisville FC forward Nadia Nadim(Connor Cunningham | Connor Cunningham)
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:56 PM EDT
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Racing Louisville FC led in a game Friday night for the first time in a month, but the club couldn’t hold that advantage en route to a fifth draw in its last seven games.

The visiting Washington Spirit equalized with a 64th-minute Ashley Hatch roller through traffic, leveling 12 minutes after Nadia Nadim similarly snuck a goal past to move ahead at Lynn Family Stadium.

Points shared hurt both sides in their bid for an NWSL playoff spot down the stretch of the regular season. Racing moved to 2-6-7 (13 points) with Washington at 1-5-9 (12 points) — six and seven points, respectively, from a top-six spot.

“I think we deserved three points today,” said Racing coach Kim Björkegren. “We played enough chances, and I think we were a little bit unlucky on their goal. … It’s similar to more or less the whole season. I think we deserve a little bit more than we get right now.”

Despite making this its third game over the last seven days, Racing could consider itself the better team for much of the way. The hosts tallied 10 shots in the box to the Spirit’s five and pressed for a game winner following the equalizer.

In the 70th minute, a Gemma Bonner strike was waved for offside on a corner kick; Nadim forced another save in the 82nd minute; and a Jess McDonald cross to Nadim in the 86th minute led to a header just high.

Washington had its share of looks to win it, too. Katie Lund parried away a breakaway Trinity Rodman attempt in the 74th minute. Seconds later, Savannah DeMelo cleared a shot off the line as Racing fended off the ensuing corner kick.

Ultimately, the result left Racing still looking for its first win since May 22, a run of 10 games. It had been since a 2-2 draw July 2 against the Orlando Pride that Louisville led a game.

“That’s kind of the story of our season,” Nadim said. “We’re getting very close, but just the last thing or loss concentration in both boxes — it’s a part of the game. A positive thing you can take out of this is for me that I can go 90 minutes and we played a good first half. Second half, I think they were the better team. I don’t know what they did. I think they changed something tactically, and they were more on top than we were.”

Racing did feature a new wrinkle Friday, going with three defenders at the back of its formation. The forward pairing up top of rookie Kirsten Davis and Nadim produced the goal.

Davis assisted Nadim’s go-ahead strike, marking her second goal contribution in as many games after scoring in the club’s midweek draw against OL Reign. Nadim upped her tally to a team-leading four goals on the season and seven in lavender — making her the highest scorer for the club, a feat accomplished across just 14 appearances.

“I think it was a smart move by us,” defender Julia Lester — who featured as a wingback — said of Friday’s formation. “We needed the numbers in the middle. I think it definitely can catch people off guard for sure.”

The game-tying goal could be chalked up to a bit of bad luck. The Spirit’s Jordan Baggett appeared to slap the ball in the box while involved in a duel but didn’t get whistled. She passed off to Hatch, whose driven shot redirected off a Racing defender’s foot and in the back of the net.

“It’s a touch, I think on (Emily) Fox’s foot,” Björkegren said, “and changed directions. And in another case there’s no way that’s going to be a goal.”

After all its recent schedule congestion, Racing has a week to rest before a trip to play the Houston Dash next Friday. Björkegren suggested that to make the playoffs, the club needs to win six of its last seven games.

“You never know. We talked about it,” the coach said. “We think Kansas (City Current), for example, they are a good team, but we don’t think they are much better than us and they have been unbeaten in eight games. So that’s something we talk about — that if we can just get over a little bit of a hill and start to win, we think there’s going to be another one, another one, another one.

“But, of course in this league to win six of seven it’s tough.”

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC vs. Washington Spirit

Date: Aug. 5, 2022

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium

Kickoff: 8 p.m.

Weather: 82 degrees, mostly cloudy

Player of the Match: Nadia Nadim

Attendance: 5,364


Racing Louisville FC (0, 1, 1)

Washington Spirit (0, 1, 1)


Racing Louisville FC:

52′ Nadia Nadim (Kirsten Davis)

Washington Spirit:

64′ Ashley Hatch (Jordan Bagget)


Racing Louisville FC: 1 – Katie Lund, 11 Emily Fox , 44 — Satara Murray, 4 — Gemma Bonner, 15 — Julia Lester, 6 — Jaelin Howell (79′ 14 – Jess McDonald), 7 — Savannah DeMelo, 8 — Freja Olofsson (70′ 27 – Alex Chidiac), 2 — Lauren Milliet, 10 — Nadia Nadim, 22 — Kirsten Davis (90′ 13 – Emina Ekic)

Subs not used: 24 — Jordyn Bloomer, 25 — Rebecca Holloway, 17 — Nealy Martin, 30 – Zaneta Wyne, 12 — Taylor Malham, 21 — Parker Goins

Head Coach: Kim Björkegren

Washington Spirit: 1 — Audrey Kingsbury, 21 — Anna Heilferty (45′ 33 – Ashley Hatch), 3 — Sam Staab, 22 — Amber Brooks, 5 — Kelly O’Hara, 19 — Dorian Bailey, 12 — Andi Sullivan (65′ 13 — Bayley Feist) 2 — Trinity Rodman, 10 — Ashley Sanchez, 11 — Jordan Baggett (65 7 — Taylor Aylmer), 9 — Tara KcKeown (80′ 17 — Tinaya Alexander)

Subs not used: 18 — Devon Kerr, 4 — Karina Rodriguez, 20 – Gaby Vincent, 29 – Madison Ewell, 30 – Camryn Biegalski

Head Coach: Kris Ward

Stats Summary: Racing Louisville FC / Washington Spirit

Shots: 13 / 12

Shots on Goal: 4 / 6

Possession: 42.5% / 57.5%

Fouls: 12 / 12

Offside: 3 / 3

Corner Kicks: 6 / 4

Discipline Summary

Racing Louisville FC:

78′ Julia Lester (yellow)

Washington Spirit:

Referee: Rebecca Pagan

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