#Racing

Playoff-Chasing Racing Seek Crucial Win Over Houston

(Photo: Chris Humphrey)

Racing Louisville returns home to host the Houston Dash on Friday night at Lynn Family Stadium as the playoff race hits the home stretch (stream on Paramount+ at 7:30 PM ET). 

Currently 7th in the standings, Louisville sits just two points shy of the final postseason place with four games remaining. Each result carries enormous weight from here on out.

“We control our destiny if we take care of business in these last four games,” said defender Abby Erceg. “Our focus is getting three points against Houston.” 

Racing enters the contest in strong form having gone five straight league matches without defeat. That stretch includes a massive 2-1 triumph over league-leading Portland two weeks ago.

Louisville also made history recently by winning their first-ever knockout tournament match against OL Reign and reaching the Challenge Cup final. The club now aims to carry that momentum into clinching their first playoff berth.

“The confidence we’ve built up by competing against the league’s best will serve us well,” noted midfielder Savannah DeMelo. “We expect to win games like this now.”

Houston sits five points back of the final playoff spot in 9th place. But they’ve sputtered over their last eight games without a victory. Interim coach Sarah Lowdon will be eager to spark a turnaround.

When these teams met back in June, Racing cruised to a 3-0 Challenge Cup win at Lynn Family Stadium. Goals from Kayla Fischer, DeMelo, and Parker Goins secured the three points that day. 

Louisville will aim to duplicate that attacking display in front of their home fans against a vulnerable Dash defense. Forwards like DeMelo and Cheyna Matthews have the creativity to unlock Houston.

Racing’s back line anchored by Erceg and Katie Lund will also need to be focused against a Houston side capable of punishing mistakes. Forward Maria Sanchez and veteran midfielder Sophie Schmidt lead the charge.

“It’s crucial we start fast and take control early on,” said coach Kim Björkegren. “This Houston team is fighting for their playoff lives as well.”

With only four games left, Louisville can ill afford to drop points at home against beatable opposition. The team’s 7-1-4 home record shows how formidable Racing is at Lynn Family Stadium.

Falling short in the Challenge Cup final should provide extra motivation. Racing is out to prove they are legit contenders by securing a playoff place.

The pieces are in place from back to front. Strong defensive organization, midfield control, and clinical finishing are all hallmarks of this Rising side under Björkegren.

But they’ll need maximum intensity for a full 90 minutes against the desperate Dash. Leave it all on the field and these three points will be Louisville’s.  

“We have a chance to make history for this club by reaching the playoffs,” DeMelo said. “That’s all the motivation we need right now.”

With the regular season winding down, the stakes go up each match. Racing aims to embrace that pressure against Houston.

The team’s steady growth indicates they are ready to take that next step and become a playoff mainstay. That journey continues with a vital victory on Friday night.

Make sure to stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of Racing Louisville and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth.

Author

  • Jimmie Martin

    Jimmie Martin is a charismatic soccer podcast host from Kentucky who passionately advocates for Promotion and Relegation in US Soccer. With infectious enthusiasm and a lighthearted sense of humor, he engages fellow enthusiasts on the Bluegrass Soccer Cast. Jimmie's goal is to promote the growth of soccer in the US while entertaining and educating his audience.

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