Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky, was the sight for Tuesday’s primetime midweek matchup in the NWSL. Both Racing Louisville FC and OL Reign were coming off their first matches back after an international break just last weekend.
For the Reign it was a 3-2 win over Angel City FC on Saturday. Meanwhile, Louisville lost to the second place Portland Thorns on Friday. With only 11 points on the season, there was a feeling that the home team needed a result if they wanted to stay alive in the playoff race.
The match’s first two minutes was very much a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment to start. On the Reign’s first possession, Megan Rapinoe, back from suspension, found her U.S. national teammate Rose Lavelle in the box. Lavelle proceeded to make two open attempts on goal that were miraculously saved by Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund. Rapinoe then used a corner to find Jessica Fishlock, who volleyed it into the back of the net for a 2nd minute goal.
After a lengthy injury delay in the first half, seven minutes were added. Within a minute of the added time, Louisville’s Kirsten Davis made a blistering solo run that saw her send one past Reign goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce for the equalizer. The goal is the first in NWSL competition for Davis.
— Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) July 4, 2022
Head-turning effort from Katie Lund
For the rest of the match, Katie Lund stood on her head.
The Reign dominated throughout the match with 25 shots including 11 on target. Other than the early goal, Lund was able to keep out every ball that came near her. She ended the match with a NWSL regular-season record tying 12 saves. Lund had come into the game leading the league with 51 saves. Now her 63 saves is a double digit lead over second-place goalkeeper, Tullis-Joyce.
“I want to do whatever I can for this team and I know how hard this team works,” Lund said in a postgame interview. “I want to say it comes naturally, but it was just a good night. I was feeling it, and I’m proud of the team for fighting, for blocking shots and taking away a lot of channels that they almost could have had in addition to the ones that I saved.”
With a draw Louisville temporarily moves up 7th in the standings, seven points behind the Kansas City Current, who sit above the playoff line. Meanwhile, OL Reign are in a more comfortable 4th place with 21 points. However, the rest of the league has games in hand, so both teams need to maintain a winning momentum to achieve a playoff berth at the end of the season.
— Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) August 3, 2022