Spirit Head to Louisville for First Time in Search of First Win of 2021

Washington Spirit  |   May 20, 2021
Spirit Head to Louisville for First Time in Search of First Win of 2021 Featured Image

ORLANDO, FL – MAY 16: Ashley Sancehz dribbles the ball during a game between Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on May 16, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Jordan Small

Leesburg, VA., (05/20/2021) – The Washington Spirit will head to Louisville, KY for the very first time to face expansion side Racing Louisville on Friday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lynn Family Stadium. The match will be broadcast on Twitch for both U.S. and international viewers. 

In the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, these two sides met at Audi Field, a 1-0 win for the Spirit on an Ashley Sanchez winner in the 93’. 

The Opposition
Racing Louisville opened up the regular season at home vs. Kansas City and took away one point in the 0-0 draw. This is the second straight match that Louisville has kept a clean sheet, including their final match of the Challenge Cup, a 0-0 draw with NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

The offense for Louisville runs mainly through forward Cece Kizer. The pacy forward can cause trouble for backlines, scoring two goals and adding an assist during the Challenge Cup. In the midfield, keep an eye on captain Savannah McCaskill who does the dirty work to win back possession for the expansion side. A familiar face at the backline for Spirit fans is defender Brooke Hendrix. The 5’11” defender has been an important part of the backline for Louisville so far this season, including a goal in the first game of the Challenge Cup. 

The Spirit
The Spirit are coming off a 1-1 draw in Orlando in which they feel points were dropped. A strong start will be important for Washington in order to avoid dropping more points on the road. One positive takeaway for the Spirit in the first game was the goal scored by forward Ashley Hatch. After struggling to score in the Challenge Cup, Hatch got a much-needed goal after coming off the bench against Orlando. 

A big theme of this game will be rotation. The Spirit are starting a stretch of three games in 10 days that will see them play on the road twice, including a trip to the west coast to face OL Reign. Defender Paige Nielsen has been ruled out due to injury so there will be at least one change to the starting XI. 

Against Orlando last weekend, the average age of the front line was 20 years and four months old. The forward duo of Ashley Sanchez and Trinity Rodman will be a pair to look out for as they came together to score the game-winning goal against Racing Louisville in the Challenge Cup.

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