NWSL Game of the Week: Racing Louisville vs Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - JULY 03: Darian Jenkins #11 of Orlando Pride controls the ball against Gemma Bonner #4 of the Racing Louisville FC during the Daytona Soccer Fest at Daytona International Speedway on July 03, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

For their first meeting of the season, Racing Louisville and the Orlando Pride took the field at Daytona International Speedway. It was the first time an NWSL match was played at the race track making it a historical moment in the league.

After a dominant first half by Louisville, Orlando came back in the end, to equalize, 2-2. In doing so, Racing’s Savannah DeMelo converted her second free-kick of the season and Orlando’s Kylie Strom picked up her first NWSL goal.

Highlights: Racing Louisville vs Orlando Pride

The four-goal game started in the 34th minute with a goal by Racing’s Emina Ekic. After Erin McLeod comes out to try and deflect the cross, the ball landed at Ekic’s feet where she calmly put the ball in the back of the net.

Coming back from halftime, DeMelo was awarded the free-kick just outside of the box. She sends an incredible strike to the back post out of reach of McLeod and putting the away team up, 2-0.

Eight minutes later, Orlando gets on the board. After a poor defensive clearance from Racing, Darian Jenkins plays the ball to Strom where she expertly curls the ball to the back-post out of the reach of Katie Lund.

For the final goal of the match, Erika Tymrak plays a through ball to Jenkins who uses one touch to put it away. Ten minutes later, McLeod comes up with a huge save, denying Ekic on a free-kick. Despite the chances, the game ended 2-2 with the teams splitting the points.

Player of the Match

The Player of the Match would have to be Darian Jenkins, but more players could have gone for that.

Jenkins tallied a goal and an assist to help bring her team back from a 2-0 deficit. Her presence with the Pride has been seen throughout the season and she is a key piece to their offense. However, she is a key playmaker for the side as well.

What’s Up Next?

Both teams return to the pitch on July 8. This means the Pride faces the Houston Dash and Racing takes on Gotham FC.

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