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DeMelo's Dramatic Equalizer Earns 3-3 Tie for Racing Louisville at First-Place Kansas City.

May 18, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Racing Louisville FC News Release

Racing Louisville on game day
Racing Louisville on game day
(Racing Louisville FC)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Savannah DeMelo scored the second-latest goal in second-half stoppage time in NWSL history to dramatically earn a point Saturday night in a 3-3 draw against the first-place Current in front of a sellout crowd at CPKC Stadium.

DeMelo dribbled past two defenders and into the penalty area before tucking in a low right-footed shot just before the final whistle, almost 13 minutes into added time in a game that featured three lead changes and three ties.

"To experience that atmosphere, for everybody in the stands to be against you, it's a crazy, crazy experience," DeMelo said. "Just the fact that we came out and played the way we did - going up a goal, going down a goal, going down another goal, and coming back - it just shows what this team is made of. It's going to be very, very hard to beat us. We're just getting better and better."

Racing Louisville (1-2-6, 9 points) has two more draws than any other team in the NWSL, but this result was the first time this season the Louisvillians came from behind to win a point. That it happened against the NWSL's most potent offense in a packed, brand-new stadium, where Kansas City had previously won all four of its games with 15 total goals, only added to Louisville's postgame joy.

Racing is now unbeaten in its last four regular-season games against Kansas City. DeMelo has four goals across all competitions against the Current, the most she has against any NWSL opponent.

"Incredibly proud of the group," Racing coach Bev Yanez said. "It's a massive point on the road against obviously a very good side. It was an incredibly relentless effort. As I said in the postgame speech, the group did that and accomplished that together. Everyone believed in that moment that we were continuing to fight and that we could get a result out of the game."

The scoring opened in the 18th minute, when Emma Sears appeared to play a right-footed cross to the back post and it sailed over the head of KC goalkeeper AD Franch. Sears grinned when asked if she meant it.

"The majority of people would say I got lucky on that, but I have scored a goal like that in college," said Sears, who starred at Ohio State and scored her second goal of the season. "Some may say it was lucky; I say the ball fell my way."

Kansas City (6-0-4, 22 points) tied the game in first-half stoppage time on a penalty conversion from captain Lo LaBonta. The Current added a second in the 56th minute through Michelle Cooper.

Twelve minutes later, Racing captain Abby Erceg headed in a corner from Carson Pickett to tie the game at 2-2. It was Erceg's third headed goal since joining Racing last season and 11th of her career.

The chaos somehow picked up another notch in second half added time, reminiscent of Racing's 1-1 thriller at NJ/NY Gotham three weeks ago.

KC defender Gabrielle Robinson's shot took a deflection off a Racing defender and looped over goalkeeper Katie Lund's head to give the home team the 3-2 lead 80 seconds into stoppage.

That set up the late drama for DeMelo, who noted that rookie Reilyn Turner nearly tied the game in the fifth minute of stoppage with a right-footed long-range effort that caromed off the post.

Seven minutes after that, Erceg found DeMelo with an incisive pass into a pocket of space to the right of Franch's goal. DeMelo did the rest.

"When I saw it hit the net," DeMelo said, "I had no words."

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC at Kansas City Current

Date: May 18, 2024

Venue: CPKC Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

Kickoff: 9:30 p.m. ET

Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy

Player of the Match: Savannah DeMelo


Racing Louisville (1, 2, 3)

Kansas City Current (1, 2, 3)

Racing Louisville

18' Emma Sears (Lauren Milliet)

68' Abby Erceg (Carson Pickett)

90'+13 Savannah DeMelo (Erceg)

Kansas City Current

45'+3 Lo LaBonta (penalty)

55' Michelle Cooper (Debinha)

90'+2 Gabrielle Robinson (Temwa Chawinga)


Racing Louisville FC (4-2-3-1): 1 - Katie Lund; 2 - Lauren Milliet, 3 - Arin Wright, 20 - Abby Erceg (c), 16 - Carson Pickett; 14 - Marisa DiGrande, 26 - Taylor Flint; 13 - Emma Sears, 7 - Savannah DeMelo, 9 - Kayla Fischer (46' 66 - Reilyn Turner); 23 - Elexa Bahr (78' 29 - Uchenna Kanu)

Subs not used: 24 - Jordyn Bloomer, 99 - Olivia Sekany; 5 - Ellie Jean, 17 - Maddie Pokorny, 18 - Milly Clegg, 21 - Parker Goins

Head Coach: Bev Yanez

Kansas City Current (4-2-3-1): 21 - AD Franch; 4 - Hailie Mace (58' 5 - Ellie Wheeler), 12 - Stine Ballisager Pedersen, 24 - Gabrielle Robinson, 18 - Izzy Rodriguez; 10 - Lo LaBonta (c) (90'+4 22 - Bayley Feist), 14 - Claire Hutton; 99 - Debinha (78' 94 - Claire Lavogez), 16 - Vanessa DiBernardo (57' 8 - Nichelle Prince), 17 - Michelle Cooper (78' 47 - Alex Pfeiffer); 6 - Temwa Chawinga

Subs not used: 29 - Jordan Silkowitz; 7 - Elizabeth Bell, 11 - Desiree Scott, 77 - Alexa Spaanstra

Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski

Stats Summary: Racing Louisville / Kansas City Current

Shots: 9 / 20

Shots on Goal: 5 / 5

Expected goals: 0.63 / 2.15

Possession: 48% / 52%

Fouls: 15 / 13

Offside: 0 / 2

Corners: 3 / 4

Discipline Summary

Racing Louisville

23' Kayla Fischer (yellow)

89' Taylor Flint (yellow)

Kansas City Current

9' Izzy Rodriguez (yellow)

33' Hailie Mace (yellow)

72' Gabrielle Robinson (yellow)

Match referee: Nabil Bensalah

Assistant referees: Jennifer Garner, Bennett Savage

Fourth official: Esad Omanovic

Video Assistant Referee: Kevin Broadley

Assistant VAR: Maggie Short

Images from this story

Racing Louisville on game day
Racing Louisville on game day


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