Jess McDonald

Racing Louisville FC's Jess McDonald fires a shot past Portland midfielder Becky Sauerbrunn in a 2-1 loss on July 29, 2022.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It was only a quick-turnaround exhibition, but Racing Louisville FC’s improvement continued to show on Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over OL Reign in the Portland Thorns preseason tournament.

It was Racing’s first win over OL Reign after a loss and three straight ties. And it came with a shuffled lineup necessitated by the club’s second game in five days. Four new starters stepped into the lineup, but it was a player who came into the game at the half who got the scoring started.

Kayla Fischer, an Ohio State midfielder chosen by Racing with the No. 16 overall pick in January’s NWSL Draft, scored a deflected goal in the 50th minute for Racing, which had been unlucky not to convert on four good chances in the first half. It was Fischer’s second goal of the preseason.

“She’s really, really talented,” Racing coach Kim Björkegren said. “She has some work to do a little bit on defense, but with the ball, her first touch and how she moves – she’s almost like a snake. It was a great goal.”

An insurance score came off the foot of veteran Jess McDonald, who jumped on an OL Reign pass back to goalkeeper Laurel Ivory at the edge of the penalty area, getting to the ball just ahead of the keeper before tapping home Racing’s second goal into an open net. McDonald had missed on a scoring opportunity in the first half when she hit the crossbar off a pass from Savannah DeMelo.

“It’s always fun to win,” Björkegren said. “Even if it’s a friendly, it’s important for us to win with this group. We have a little bit of a new group, so to find ways to win is important, especially closer to the league start. I’m happy.”

The match was the second of three in Portland. Racing will finish the tournament at 8 p.m. ET Saturday against the U.S. Women’s National Team U-23s.

Fans can follow preseason games via the club’s social media accounts, where any live streaming details will be posted if available.

TV SCHEDULE SET: The NWSL earlier this week set its broadcast schedule, with three Racing Louisville game set for national broadcasts. Racing’s 4 p.m. June 18 match against NJ/NY Gotham FC was selected to be on CBS, while its 10 p.m. match April 15 at Angel City FC and its 7:30 p.m. May 27 home match against the North Carolina Courage will air on CBS Sports Network. Each of the club’s other 19 regular season and six Challenge Cup matches will stream via Paramount+.

Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.