Racing Registers a Point in Season-Opening Draw
Racing Louisville FC opened its inaugural regular season Saturday on the front foot, producing the majority of chances en route to a scoreless draw with fellow NWSL expansion side Kansas City.
However, visiting Kansas City is a reincarnation of the former Utah Royals, an established club. Racing built its roster from scratch since beginning to acquire players last fall to split points in the first of 24 games this season.
Louisville out-shot and out-possessed Kansas City to the delight of a club-record 6,622 at Lynn Family Stadium, evidencing the group's potential out of the gates.
"We limited them to a few good chances," said coach Christy Holly. "They had Amy Rodriguez, Darian Jenkins, Mallory Weber and Victoria Pickett. To limit a team like that, and not only keep a clean sheet, but to limit them to smaller chances is something good we take away from this.
"I think the frustration is that in the first half, I thought that we need to clinical with our opportunities. We didn't unfortunately and we will have to improve on that."
Racing managed just one shot on goal, in the 36th minute when forward Yuki Nagasato played a cross that was deflected out to the top of the box. Midfielder Lauren Milliet followed up with a rocket handled by Kansas City keeper Nicole Barnhart.
But, particularly thanks to vice captain Savannah McCaskill, Racing remained on the attack.
In the 39th minute, her cross from the right side caromed off a Kansas City defender and nearly went in for a goal. Two minutes into stoppage time, McCaskill made a nifty turn along the end line, drove toward the goal and left a pass for forward Cece Kizer that soared just high.
A 54th-minute punt out by Racing's goalkeeper, Michelle Betos, thwarted arguably Kansas City's best chance at breaking the stalemate.
In all, Racing tallied 13 shots to Kansas City's 11, blocking 8 of those opposing attempts, and controlled 50.6% of the possession.
"We did a better job at staying as a unit," McCaskill said. "We created chances, and we need to find a way to put one in the back of the net at the end of the day and find a way to win. I think it was all around a pretty solid 90-minute performance, but obviously we need to find the back of the net and figure out a way to not let our level drop throughout the 90 minutes."
Across all NWSL competitions - which includes the preseason Challenge Cup tournament - Racing moved its record to 0-2-3. While the club is still seeking its first victory, Saturday's result marked consecutive draws and clean sheets dating back to a May 2 trip to play NJ/NY Gotham FC.
"I can't tell you enough about how proud I am of this team's performance to keep a clean sheet for two games in a row," said defender Erin Simon. "We are not conceding, which is really awesome from a defensive point of view. Obviously, we want to start scoring some goals and creating a better result in that final third.
"We are still learning each other as teammates, learning our tendencies, and we are still implementing our style of play. It is a long season, and we have a lot of growing to do so this is a really good foundation to build off of."
Racing has less than a week to prepare for its next outing as it hosts the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. Friday, also at Lynn Family Stadium.
Game Summary: Racing Louisville vs. Kansas City
Venue: Lynn Family Stadium
Kickoff: 5 p.m.
Weather: 73 degrees, Partly cloudy
Woman of the Match: Savannah McCaskill
Racing Louisville FC (0, 0, 0)
Kansas City (0, 0, 0)
Stats Summary: Racing Louisville FC/ Kansas City
Shots: 13 / 11
Shots on Goal: 1 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 9
Offside: 0 / 0
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Saves: 3 / 1
Racing Louisville: 1 - Michelle Betos, 3 - Erin Simon, 11 - Emily Fox, 18 - Kaleigh Riehl, 15 - Brooke Hendrix, 7 - Savannah McCaskill, 22 - Katie McClure (65' 13 - Emina Ekic), 8 - Freja Olofsson, 17 - Yuki Nagasato, 2 - Lauren Milliet (82' 19 - Taylor Otto), 5 - Cece Kizer (90+ Jorian Baucom)
Subs not used: 20 - Cheyna Matthews, 14 - Nealy Martin, 23 - Katie Lund, 27 - Vanessa Kara, 21 - Shelby Money
Kansas City: 18 - Nicole Barnhart, 3 - Kristen Edmonds (80' 19 - Michelle Maemone), 24 - Taylor Leach, 2 - Rachel Corsie, 6 - Katie Bowen, 99 - Victoria Pickett, 20 - Mallory Weber (63' 21 - Mariana Larroquette), 9 - Lo'eau LaBonta (33' 26 - Jordyn Listro), 13 - Darian Jenkins (45' 15 - Michele Vasconcelos), 11 - Desiree Scott (90+ 14 -gaby Vincent), 8 - Amy Rodriguez
Subs not used: 7 - Elizabeth Ball, 29 - Kate Del Fava, 28 - Addie McCain, 27 - Carly Nelson
Racing Louisville FC: McCaskill (yellow) 53'
Referee: Adorae Monroy
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan & Chris Schurfranz
Fourth Official: Nabil Bensalah
• Discuss this story on the National Women's Soccer League message board...
National Women's Soccer League Stories from May 15, 2021
- Racing Registers a Point in Season-Opening Draw - Racing Louisville FC
- Kansas City NWSL Opens Regular Season with Scoreless Draw against Racing Louisville - Kansas City
- Additional Courage Home Opener Tickets Available - North Carolina Courage
- Single-Game Tickets for First Three Dash Home Games on Sale Now - Houston Dash
- Dash Open Regular Season at NJ/NY Gotham FC Saturday - Houston Dash
- Orlando Pride Announces Mission Program Including a Mission Fund to Celebrate, Support Social and Community Interests - Orlando Pride
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Racing Louisville FC Stories
- Racing Rearranges Lineup in Defeat to NC Courage
- What to Watch for with Racing vs. the NC Courage
- Salmon's Debut Heroics Boost Racing Past Houston Dash
- What to Watch for with Racing vs. the Houston Dash
- Racing Signs Nadim as Latest High-Profile International Addition