Racing Louisville’s bid to make the regular season playoffs for the first time when they fell 0-1 against Houston Dash on Friday night.
With the standings tighter than they’ve ever been in the decade-plus National Women’s Soccer League’s history and less than a handful of games left to play, this was a must-win for Racing. But instead of coming out like the gritty, determined team fans saw last week when they racked up big wins against the Portland Thorns and OL Reing, Racing came out flat and disconnected.
After the match, defender Abby Erceg didn’t hold back about the team’s performance.
“I thought we were extremely poor tonight,” said the defender, who wore the captain’s armband with Jaelin Howell out with an injury. “You know, when you’re pushing for a playoff spot and you put in a performance like that, you’re just not going to make it. We played as individuals. We stopped playing as a team. There was a lack of effort. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for us in terms of how we played as a team, so it’s really disappointing.”
As a result of this match, Racing goes into Saturday remaining in seventh place. However, by not getting a single point, they run the risk of dropping to eighth or ninth depending on how Angel City or the Orlando Pride perform. At least with the two teams directly above them — NJ/NY Gotham and the Washington Spirit — playing each other, the sixth playoff berth can’t get too far ahead of them in points, but there’s no question Racing will now likely need to win every single one of their remaining three games to have a chance at crossing that boundary.
“Overall I’m disappointed, disappointed with the result, and also I think we can do better – even if I think we created enough chances to score maybe one or two goals,” said head coach Kim Björkegren. “We talked about how nine points will probably be enough to make the playoffs, and with three games left, we can still do it. Right now, I’m just disappointed because I think we had a great chance to do something better today but we didn’t.”
By the Numbers
Note: All stats are from PressBox Live by Opta
Ultimately, this was an extremely evenly matched game across almost every metric.
In xG (Louisville: 1.43; Houston: 1.21), in shots (Louisville: 17; Houston: 19), shots on goal (Louisville: 6; Houston: 5), possession (Louisville 53%), and…