Racing Louisville FC snaps skid with 2-0 win over Orlando

Racing Louisville beats AC Milan 2-0 in Women's Cup
Racing Louisville beats AC Milan 2-0 in Women's Cup(Connor Cunningham)
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 2:33 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE - Racing Louisville FC started fast and turned in a complete performance in a 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride on Friday night at Lynn Family Stadium, snapping a 13-game winless streak.

Nadia Nadim opened the scoring in the 10th minute and Savannah DeMelo added the second in the 50th, while goalkeeper Katie Lund made seven saves for her fifth clean sheet of the season.

Racing (3-8-8, 17 points) pulled back into 10th place in the NWSL with the win, moving within four points of ninth-place Orlando in the standings.

“It’s been a couple rough games, but we want to end this season on a good note,” the rookie DeMelo said. “Playing at home is awesome – the crowd was great. We all just played as a team. We played together. We finally played from the first minute to the 90th minute, so we got a full performance.”

There was a sense of relief for Racing, which bounced back from back-to-back losses to Chicago and North Carolina by scores of 4-0 and 5-1, respectively. The team has maintained through the summer that its performances were good enough to get more results, but the breakthrough never quite came – until Friday.

After a brief spell of Orlando pressure in the opening moments, Racing grew into the game, finding successful passing patterns down both flanks.

In the 10th minute, right back Lauren Milliet passed to the feet of Jess McDonald. With a defender on her back, McDonald let the ball run between her legs and past the defender, then spun around into the ball’s path. The veteran forward’s low right-footed cross slid under Orlando goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse and into Nadim’s path.

It was Nadim’s sixth goal in 10 regular-season appearances this season, with half of those scores coming off McDonald assists. As for McDonald, the helper gave her a two-assist cushion on Sofia Huerta as the NWSL’s all-time assists leader in regular-season games, with 31 for her career.

“(McDonald) makes some really good crosses,” Nadim said. “I ran near post, but I could see her touch was a bit longer, so I just found a second position and it was a very easy tap-in. Happy to be in the right place, and a great, great ball from Jess.”

DeMelo’s fourth goal of the season came five minutes into the second half, with the rookie midfielder collecting a pass from Wang Shuang, taking a touch to her right foot and ripping in a curling shot from 19 yards out.

All four of the California native’s goals have come from outside the area, and she has scored in both of Racing’s matches against Orlando this year.

Racing did need a few quality saves from Lund, including one shot she parried as it knuckled through traffic in the 66th minute, to see out its first win since May 22.

“We have worked hard in all the trainings,” said Racing coach Kim Björkegren. “We actually had a good training week before the Chicago game, as well. Today was more compact together. I think everybody figured out that everyone needs to take one more step.”

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride

Date: Sept. 16, 2022

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium

Kickoff: 7:37 p.m. ET

Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy

Attendance: 5,397

Player of the Match: Savannah DeMelo

Scoring

Racing Louisville (1, 1, 2)

Orlando Pride (0, 0, 0)

Goals

Racing Louisville:

10′ Nadia Nadim (Jess McDonald)

50′ Savannah DeMelo (Wang Shuang)

Lineups

Racing Louisville FC (4-3-3): 1 – Katie Lund; 11 – Emily Fox, 4 – Gemma Bonner (c), 44 – Satara Murray, 2 – Lauren Milliet; 6 – Jaelin Howell, 7 – Savannah DeMelo, 77 – Wang Shuang (90′+1 30 – Zaneta Wyne); 13 – Emina Ekic (85′ 27 – Alex Chidiac), 10 – Nadia Nadim, 14 – Jess McDonald (87′ 22 – Kirsten Davis)

Subs not used: 24 – Jordyn Bloomer, 31 – Kelsey Daugherty; 12 – Taylor Malham, 17 – Nealy Martin, 25 – Rebecca Holloway; 21 – Parker Goins

Head Coach: Kim Björkegren

Orlando Pride (4-3-3): 21 – Anna Moorhouse; 2 – Haley Hanson, 5 – Megan Montefusco, 3 – Toni Pressley (c), 23 – Kylie Strom (59′ 25 – Kerry Abello); 34 – Jordyn Listro (59′ 8 – Gunny Jonsdottir), 28 – Meggie Dougherty Howard, 16 – Mikayla Cluff; 15 – Erika Tymrak (67′ 33 – Ally Watt), 20 – Julie Doyle (59′ 35 – Leah Pruitt), 11 – Darian Jenkins (67′ 17 – Courtney Petersen)

Subs not used: 40 – Kelly Rowswell, 13 – Celia Jimenez Delgado, 12 – Carrie Lawrence, 30 – Thais Reiss

Head Coach: Seb Hines

Stats Summary: Racing Louisville / Orlando Pride

Shots: 11 / 14

Shots on Goal: 5 / 7

Possession: 46.2% / 53.8%

Fouls: 15 / 10

Offside: 0 / 1

Corner Kicks: 5 / 9

Discipline Summary

Racing Louisville:

83′ Katie Lund (yellow)

Orlando Pride:

Referee: Anya Voigt