Racing Louisville Earns Late Draw Against Angel City in Front of Record Crowd
A club record crowd of 10,214 roared Racing Louisville to a dramatic 1-1 draw against Angel City on Saturday night at Lynn Family Stadium. Forward Kirsten Davis headed in the equalizer in the 79th minute to earn Louisville a point.
The intense contest saw Angel City strike first through Katie Johnson in the 67th minute. But Racing rallied in front of their biggest home crowd ever to salvage the result.
“The fan base here is huge and getting this record-breaking attendance is everything,” said substitute Maddie Pokorny, who provided the assist on the goal. “The energy the crowd was giving us allowed us to score that goal.”
The draw keeps Racing in 7th place on 20 points, four points shy of a playoff berth with 6 games remaining. Louisville extended its club record home unbeaten streak to 12 matches, dating back to last season.
“I’m really happy that our city supported us, and I think it helps us, especially in the end of the game when the players needed some energy,” said coach Kim Björkegren.
Racing started brightly and nearly took the lead just before halftime when Paige Monaghan rattled the woodwork. Angel City keeper Didi Haracic then denied a curling effort from Savannah DeMelo early in the second stanza.
But the visitors countered with Johnson’s tidy left-footed finish in the 67th minute after a driving run and layoff from Savannah McCaskill.
As the game opened up late, Racing turned to its bench for a spark. Substitutes Pokorny and Davis rewarded that faith.
Captain Jaelin Howell sprung Pokorny down the left on the buildup. She whipped in a pinpoint cross that Davis expertly headed home to level the match.
Racing pushed for a winner, but DeMelo’s late blast sailed over the bar. Angel City also had a chance to steal it when Ali Riley’s header flashed just wide in stoppage time.
Louisville will rue missed opportunities, especially Monaghan’s first-half chance that struck the post. But the team showed its fighting spirit by coming from behind to earn a point.
“The positive from this game is that we got a goal back,” said forward Nadia Nadim, who started for the first time since returning from injury. “There were moments where we looked really good – we need to create more of those moments.”
The team’s substitutes provided a game-changing spark on the night. Pokorny earned her first NWSL assist in just her fifth appearance after signing a contract extension this week.
The draw felt like a disappointment given Racing’s first-half play and the boisterous home support. But grinding out results is key during a playoff push, especially against a quality opponent.
Racing remains firmly in contention but needs to start turning draws into wins down the stretch. The team’s togetherness and refusal to quit showed why they could be dangerous in the postseason.
Up next is a challenging road test against the Portland Thorns next Saturday. But if Louisville can match that intensity from the Angel City draw, they have the talent to compete with anyone.
The club record crowd proved Racing has become a darling of the NWSL scene. Now it’s time for the team to reward that growing fan base with its first-ever playoff berth.
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(Photo: Chris Humphrey)