Racing Louisville FC kicked off its first NWSL regular season on Saturday against Kansas City in front of a club-record crowd of 6,622 fans, playing to a scoreless draw.
Coach Christy Holly also made one change to his lineup exiting the NWSL Challenge Cup, a preseason tournament that saw hometown hero Emina Ekic start four games on the right wing.
This go around, Katie McClure, who Racing selected from the Washington Spirit in the 2020 expansion draft, got the call before Ekic subbed on in the second half. McClure managed a chance created from her 21 touches while passing at a 76.9% clip.
“For her first ever NWSL start, I thought she did well,” said Racing coach Christy Holly. “We are exceptionally proud of her. Katie has a very good eye for goal which, for this team, separates her a bit. You can see that in her aggressiveness and her mindset toward goal. We like to see that.
“We would like to see her create more one-v-one opportnities and take advantage of them. Overall, she was a good threat, and we are very proud of her.”
Plus more notes and quotes from the season opener…
• Attacking, midfielder Lauren Milliet took Racing’s only shot on target, also pacing her side in total shots with 3.
• Defender Emily Fox led the club in clearances (6), interceptions (3) and possession gained (9).
• Distributing, forward Savannah McCaskill tried a team-high 8 crosses in what was her 30th regular season NWSL appearance.
• Goalkeeper Michelle Betos made her 95th professional appearance and her 50th NWSL regular season appearance.
• Midfielder Freja Olofsson, new to the NWSL this year, made her 75th professional appearance.
More of what Holly said…
“We need to be a little bit braver and put ourselves in positions where we can actually score. We must take a little more responsibility as an individual and as a teammate to step up and let the shot go. We just need to be a little bit more clinical and a little bit more ruthless in our movements and our decisions around the 18.”
What defender Erin Simon said…
“Obviously, it is a huge positive that we got that clean sheet as a team and it is a building block. We are a first-year team, and they were formally Utah, so there were some established players on that team. For us to come away with a clean sheet, and I thought we were the more dangerous team, it was a really good start. I’m proud of the team’s performance.”
What McCaskill said…
“We created chances and we need to find a way to put it in the back of the net at the end of the day and find a way to win. I think it was all around a pretty solid 90-minute performance, but obviously we need to find the back of the net and figure out a way to not let our level drop throughout the 90 minutes.”