Preseason: Racing Louisville vs. OL Reign

Angel City Tops Racing Louisville in Tight Battle

Racing Louisville and OL Reign met in Portland’s Providence Park as the preseason tournament hosted by the Portland Thorns continued on Wednesday evening.

After facing a tough, late-game 1-0 loss to the Thorns over the weekend, Racing Louisville surprised OL Reign by coming out on top 2-0. First, Louisville draftee Kayla Fischer came in hot after getting subbed in at half-time and scored the first goal in the 50th minute. Fifteen minutes later, Jess McDonald capitalized off a poor back pass and got a toe in to knock the ball past keeper Laurel Ivory and tapping the ball into a wide-open goal.

Both teams played heavily rotated squads although Racing opened the game with more starters than OL Reign. Interestingly, as the game went on, Racing continuously removed starters like Savannah DeMelo, Abby Erceg, and Carson Pickett while OL Reign added them by subbing in the likes of Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle, Jordyn Huitema, and Tziarra King. And yet Racing was still able to hold them off to earn a clean sheet. Preseason

Racing had 11 shots overall (6 in the first half and 5 in the second) while OL Reign had 10 total shots (2 in the first half and 8 in the second). This shows that Seattle did improve offensively in the second half as their typical starters subbed on, but Racing remained fairly steady.

This game marks the first time Racing has ever beaten OL Reign. Last season, they drew each other in both their regular season games but lost out to OL Reign in the championship match of the Women’s Cup friendly tournament in August.

McDonald goal celebration
Jessica McDonald celebrates her goal with Kayla Fischer who scored earlier – Image courtesy Taylor Vincent Preseason

Racing’s Takeaways

This is another solid preseason performance from Racing versus a team they’ve historically struggled against. The Thorns are the reigning league champions and OL Reign are the shield holders, so to lose one match in the final minutes by a single goal and win the other by two goals are very positive developments for Louisville.  Although this is preseason and both teams had rotated rosters, a win like this is exceptionally important to building confidence in a team that’s integrating a bunch of new team members.

In positive news for Racing, big off-season acquisitions Abby Erceg and Carson Pickett seem to be integrating into the team seamlessly. They already look like they have good chemistry with their teammates, including fellow newcomers midfielder Ary Borges and defender Elli…

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