Promising Season Ends In Disappointment For Racing After San Diego Defeat

Racing Louisville’s season came to a frustrating end on Sunday with a 2-0 loss at San Diego, eliminating them from playoff contention.  

After entering Decision Day still in contention, Louisville was unable to get the win they needed. Goals from Alex Morgan and Jaedyn Shaw saw the hosts deal the final blow.

“This season is a tale of two different teams,” said captain Jaelin Howell, who returned from injury. “When we came out and played like we knew how to play we were able to beat any team. But we’d show up as a different team sometimes, and that hurt us.”

Despite finishing 9th, Racing still achieved numerous milestones indicative of progress in their third NWSL campaign under coach Kim Björkegren.

This year saw the club record its highest-ever point total (27), most wins (6), and set club marks for goals scored and fewest conceded. Racing reached the Challenge Cup final and won their first-ever knockout match.

“We had two goals this season: To make the playoffs in the Challenge Cup and the league. We did it in the Challenge Cup, but we missed the chance for the league,” said Björkegren. 

In the end, Racing will look back on too many costly draws as their downfall. Finding ways to turn those stalemates into wins is the next step.

On Sunday in San Diego, it was an uphill battle from the start against a talented side. Shaw opened the scoring in the 26th minute before Morgan doubled the lead after halftime.

Savannah DeMelo nearly pulled one back with a blistering free kick off the crossbar. But Louisville couldn’t generate enough dangerous chances on the day.

The loss brought an end to Racing’s five-game unbeaten run when it mattered most. However, this team still showed growth and maturity from past years.

“We’re disappointed because we were close and believed we could make the playoffs,” said midfielder Ary Borges. “But we’re still proud of how far this club has come.” 

Playoff soccer remains elusive for Racing. But they served notice that they won’t be far off in 2023. This rising team is building something special under Björkegren.

The future remains incredibly bright, especially with young talents like DeMelo, Borges, and Howell leading the charge. Free agency this winter provides chances to supplement the growing core.

While the 2022 ending stings, fans should feel optimism about what lies ahead. Racing has undergone a rapid ascent as a club and the pace shows no signs of slowing.

The lessons learned during a historic season will only aid the team going forward. More milestones and trophies are surely on the horizon.

“We will take some time to reflect on this campaign, but then quickly shift focus to 2023 and taking the next step,” said defender Abby Erceg. “The goal remains the same – competing for championships.”

For now, Racing supporters can appreciate the competitive spirit and quality football showcased all year long. The journey continues.

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. 

(Photo: NWSL LLC)

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.

Promising Season Ends In Disappointment For Racing After San Diego Defeat

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