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Washington, D.C. (06/02/2023) – The Washington Spirit will face Racing Louisville FC on Saturday evening in both sides’ tenth regular season match of the 2023 season. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. EDT at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. and will broadcast on Paramount+ for fans across the United States. International viewers can stream the match on NWSLSoccer.com as well.
The Washington Spirit embarks on the second of four consecutive games at Audi Field this Saturday. In the last match, the Spirit drew with NJ/NY Gotham FC, equalizing the game in the 69th minute off a header from first-year midfielder Paige Metayer. It was Metayer’s second goal off a corner this season, the most in the NWSL.
The Spirit is unbeaten at home in all competitions this season (3-0-2), scoring nine goals while allowing just four goals in five matches. In regular season home matches, the Spirit has allowed a league-low two goals. Portland is the only other team that has yet to lose at home this season.
With any playing time Saturday night, forward Trinity Rodman will make her 50th career regular season appearance. She will be the 19th Spirit player – the most players to reach 50 career games with a team in NWSL history – to accomplish this feat and will potentially do so one week after teammate Ashley Sanchez. Rodman will become the youngest Spirit player to reach 50 career appearances, supplanting Meggie Dougherty Howard.
The attacking front of Rodman, Sanchez and Ashley Hatch has put strain on opposing teams’ defenses every week. These three are all among the top seven shots on target leaders in the NWSL – Rodman (11), Sanchez (11) and Hatch (12). Those 34 shots on target from the trio are 14 greater than the 20 shots on target from Racing Louisville FC’s top-three shots on target leaders. Additionally, the forward duo of Hatch and Rodman have also logged the second-most shots on target inside the box (nine each), trailing only Portland’s Sophia Smith and Crystal Dunn (17 and eight, respectively).
Following Sunday’s match, the Spirit will continue its four-game homestand at Audi Field, hosting Angel City FC on Saturday, June 10 at 7 p.m. EDT.
Racing Louisville FC is coming off a decisive 2-0 victory against the Chicago Red Stars in a midweek UKG NWSL Challenge Cup match. The win put the side atop the Central Division table at 2-0-0. Having beat the Kansas City Current in May, Louisville is the only team in the NWSL to win all 2023 Challenge Cup matches to date.
Midfielder Savannah DeMelo has scored twice during the in-season tournament, making her one of four players with two goals in this year’s Challenge Cup. She added an assist in Wednesday’s match against Chicago as well. Similarly, goalkeeper Katie Lund has impressed during the Challenge Cup – her 1.00 goals against average through seven career Challenge Cup games is tied for fourth all-time.
Saturday evening’s match will be Louisville’s third in only seven days. The team played last Saturday, losing to the North Carolina Courage, 2-1. Former Spirit midfielder Jordan Baggett scored on a header. All six of Baggett’s NWSL goals have come in the second half of matches, the most goals of any player in league history with 100 percent of their goals coming in the second half. The Spirit traded Baggett for two future draft picks in April.
Racing Louisville FC drew in four of its first five games and is 2-2-0 since. In its last road game, Louisville beat Kansas City, 2-0, for its fourth-ever regular season road victory (4-14-10). Louisville has never won two games in a span of five regular season road games. The victory versus Kansas City is the team’s only road win in the five attempts this season. Among those games, Louisville failed to score in three and earned a league-high 8.99 expected goals against.
Louisville has players lead the league (or tied for the lead) in the following categories: fouls conceded (17 – Savannah DeMelo & Jaelin Howell), blocks (13 – Abby Erceg), passes into the final third (104 – Carson Pickett).
Next up, Racing Louisville returns home to face off against San Diego on Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m. EDT.