Racing Louisville FC celebratiing win on field / JWS

Racing Louisville FC secured their first win as a franchise Friday night in the club’s 2-0 victory over the Washington Spirit. The club began play this year after joining the NWSL as an expansion team in 2019.

Despite being out-shot and out-possessed, Louisville managed to hold off the Spirit to keep the game level at halftime. A handful of massive saves from Michelle Betos kept the Spirit’s Trinity Rodman off the score sheet in the opening 45 minutes.

Finally, in the 76th minute, Emina Ekic, a Louisville native and graduate of the University of Louisville, scored the club’s first-ever regular-season goal in front of her hometown crowd in Lynn Family Stadium. Dodging two defenders, Ekic blasted a gorgeous curling ball into the far post to give Louisville a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, Louisville capitalized off a counter attack to get numbers forward. Leading a three-on-one charge, Cece Kizer slotted the ball past Aubrey Bledsoe to extend their lead to 2-0.

With the Spirit unable to convert opportunities in the final third, the score remained at 2-0 until the final whistle.

Rodman went down near the end of the game after taking an elbow to the ribs in a scary episode. Although a stretcher was brought out for her, the rookie walked off gingerly on her own and Spirit coach Richie Burke said after the game that she was OK.

The Spirit will now head home to host the Houston Dash next Wednesday. Racing Louisville will go on the road to face the Courage in Cary, N.C., on Friday.