Racing Louisville Stumble Continues With 3-0 Loss at Kansas City
The Racing Louisville FC women dropped their second straight match in a 3-0 defeat against Kansas City on Saturday night. The loss allowed KC to leapfrog Louisville for first place in the Challenge Cup group stage on the final matchday.
An early Kristen Hamilton finish put Racing behind the eight ball after just 3 minutes. Louisville fought to get back even in the first half but saw two goals disallowed for offside. A red card early in the second half for defender Taylor Aylmer ultimately doomed the visitors.
“Losing 3-0 is pretty tough, especially when you’ve been doing so well in the group,” said captain Abby Erceg. She cited a lack of creativity, sharpness, and poor defending for the team’s recent stumbles.
Racing had already qualified for the Challenge Cup semifinals on September 6th thanks to earlier results. But the team hoped to win the group and host a playoff match.
Saturday’s match saw late scratches and lineup shuffling, with coach Kim Björkegren absent due to illness. Assistant Bev Yanez took the reins. Despite the challenges, Yanez said the team had chances but failed to capitalize.
A dream start for KC saw Hamilton finish a cross from Cece Kizer just 3 minutes in. Racing responded well and controlled possession for stretches of the first half. But the team couldn’t break down the Kansas City defense.
Erceg thought she equalized off a 22nd-minute corner, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Kirsten Davis also had a goal chalked off just before halftime in a similar fashion.
The second half then took a turn when Aylmer picked up a second yellow card in the 49th minute for a bad tackle. The sending-off left Racing a player down for over 40 minutes.
Despite being outmanned, Louisville stayed competitive until late. But KC iced the game with two more goals from Hamilton and Hailie Mace in the final 10 minutes.
Racing enjoyed 60% possession at points against 10-woman KC, showing the team’s fight. However, a lack of ideas and poor finishing quality ultimately doomed Louisville.
“We had our opportunities tonight. Given the circumstances, going down a player early in the second half, I’m proud of how the group responded,” said acting coach Yanez.
The team now heads into the international break looking to regroup before NWSL action resumes. Racing returns to host Angel City on August 19th at Lynn Family Stadium.
With the Challenge Cup group stage complete, attention shifts to closing out the regular season strong. Louisville currently sits 5th in the standings with plenty of games left.
Racing has proven capable of beating anyone in NWSL during an up-and-down campaign. Avoiding extended lapses in play and concentration will be key down the stretch.
Results will follow if the team can maintain its belief and high work rate. Racing has the talent to make noise in both the playoffs and Challenge Cup. But they must quickly bounce back from this slide.
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