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September 24, 2023

NWSL: Wang Shuang Makes History As Racing Pick First Win Of The Season Over Red Star

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Racing Louisville’s hunt for a breakthrough win ended Saturday, with the Louisvillians celebrating an emphatic 3-0 victory over the visiting Chicago Red Stars at Lynn Family Stadium.

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Savannah DeMelo and Wang Shuang converted penalties in the first half and Parker Goins provided an insurance goal in the 89th minute to give Racing its first win of the 2023 campaign and its largest margin of victory at home since joining the NWSL in 2021.

Racing (7 points) arrived at Saturday’s match hungry for a win after twice taking 2-0 leads in the the first halves of games earlier this year – only to concede two second-half goals and settle for draws. The third time it happened was the charm.

In the 35th minute, DeMelo’s penalty banged off the post, but it bounced into the goal off the back of Chicago goalkeeper and United States (U.S.) Women’s National Team star Alyssa Naeher for an own goal.

Five minutes into added time in the first half, Wang Shuang slotted home a second penalty, scoring her first regular-season goal for Racing and becoming the first Chinese player to score in NWSL history.

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This time, Louisville made sure to keep its foot on the gas pedal with the 2-0 halftime lead, repeatedly pushing for goal No. 3 in the second half. Wang Shuang rattled the crossbar from 16 yards out and Paige Monaghan’s free header off a set piece required a goal-line stop from Naeher.

In the game’s waning moments, Goins scored her first professional goal, collecting a loose ball off teammate Thembi Kgatlana’s dribble and knocking her shot in off the far post.

For a team hoping to contend for the playoffs, Racing desperately needed the victory, which moved Louisville up three spots in the NWSL standings, albeit with one more game played than the three teams just behind.


Houston Dash became the first team to beat the Portland Thorns FC this season after mounting a comeback to beat the reigning NWSL Champion, 2-1.

After threatening for the majority of the match with five shots and three on target, forward Ebony Salmon finally cashed in for the first goal of the season in the 71st minute of the match.

Sanchez found Salmon who turned on to beat the defender take the shot past Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby.

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Midfielder Joelle Anderson scored her first goal of the season in the 59th minute.

Salmon took the initial shot on the far side that forced Bixby to punch the ball away right to Anderson who was standing unmarked on the near post.

Portland took the lead in the 33rd minute after Portland midfielder Rocky Rodrigez scored.

In the 39th minute, Salmon and forward Michelle Alozie nearly combined for the equalizer. A few minutes later Salmon was able to get past a defender to force a corner kick.

Hirst, who earned her first start, nearly equalized on the first attempt.

Alozie had two back-to-back plays that could have led to the equalizer five minutes into the second half. Alozie took a shot and the ball appeared to have hit a Portland defender on the hand. However, the play was not reviewed for a potential handball in the box.

Alozie then took another shot on goal that forced Bixby to make the stop.

Houston will host San Diego Wave FC on Saturday, May 20 at Shell Energy Stadium.

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