Preview: Washington Spirit continues Audi Field homestand versus Racing Louisville FC in team’s annual Pride Night

Washington Spirit  |   June 2, 2023
Preview: Washington Spirit continues Audi Field homestand versus Racing Louisville FC in team’s annual Pride Night Featured Image

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 as well. 


The Spirit 

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).  


Other notable players to watch out for are midfielder Andi Sullivan, who is tied for the most possessions won (90) in the NWSL, and defender Tara McKeown who leads the league with 52 clearances.  


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. 


The Opposition 

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. 



  • The Spirit owns a 3-1-3 all-time record versus Racing Louisville FC, including an unblemished 2-0-0 record at Audi Field. The Spirit has outscored Louisville 11-7 in those games. 
  • Louisville and Washington played to a 2-2 draw earlier this season with each of the last three meetings all being draws in which both teams scored. Only two fixtures in league history have seen longer streaks of scoring draws (CHI vs. POR, five straight ending in 2015 & LOU vs. RGN, four straight active). 
  • Dating back to 2022, Washington’s last three goals in the fixture have all been scored by Ashley Hatch. Hatch has scored six career goals in the matchup, the most of any player against Louisville in league play.
  • Louisville is the only team with a duo (Erceg and Howell) that has recorded more interceptions (37) than the Spirit defending duo of Tara McKeown and Gabrielle Carle (33).
  • Former Spirit players meet again:
    • Louisville midfielder Jordan Baggett returns to Washington after playing with the Spirit from 2019 to 2023. She was the Spirit’s third overall draft selection in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and made 35 appearances with the team. 
    • Louisville keeper Katie Lund was part of the 2020 Spirit squad before being selected by Louisville in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft. 
  • Former college teammates meet again:
    • Spirit defender Amber Brooks played with Louisville forward Jess McDonald at North Carolina in 2009. The two also played together with Portland Thorns FC in 2014. 
    • Spirit defender Gabrielle Carle played with Louisville midfielder Jaelin Howell at Florida State from 2018 to 2021.
    • Spirit midfielder Inès Jaurena played with Louisville defender Carson Pickett at Florida State in 2012.
    • Spirit defender Tara McKeown played with Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo at USC from 2017 to 2021. 
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