Shorthanded Utah Royals Drop Third Straight In Blowout Loss To Louisville

Apr 20, 2024, 5:24 PM | Updated: Apr 22, 2024, 4:21 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Utah Royals fell apart late in the second half against the Racing Louisville FC which resulted in a third-straight loss for the club.

The score was 1-1 through 65 minutes. RLFC then scored four goals in less than 25 minutes to go up 5-1.

The Royals came in with a very short bench due to an extensive injury report.

Imani Dorsey (achilles), Ifeoma Onumonu (ankle), Agnes Nyberg (hip), Frankie Tagliaferri (knee), Emily Gray (hamstring), and Dana Foederer (concussion) were all unavailable against RLFC.

First Half

Louisville came out of the gates aggressively and had Utah with its back against the wall for the majority of the first 10 minutes.

The Royals held strong and conceded multiple opportunities in their defensive third.

Paige Monaghan, facing her former team for the first time, found some open space in the 11th minute. With no one in her way other than goalkeeper Katie Lund, she sent a left-footed shot to the right side but missed wide.

Utah and Louisville went back and forth with scoring opportunities in the 17th.

Ally Sentnor led a fastbreak with numbers and found Monaghan on the left side once again. The shot was blocked and Racing immediately started to counter. A great pass found Savannah DeMelo at the top of the box but Utah goalkeeper Mandy Haught came out and jumped on the ball.

In the 26th minute, Racing Louisville broke the tie. Lauren Milliet gave an excellent cross from the right side that found the head of Uchenna Kanu. Kanu’s header soared past Haught for her fourth goal of the season.

After Louisville took a one-goal lead, momentum clearly swung in their favor.

From the 32nd minute to the 35th minute, Racing Louisville kept the ball in their attacking third and nearly doubled their advantage multiple times. They had one shot deflect off of Haught and the post, another shot bounce off the crossbar, and a third shot saved in the center of the goal.

Although Utah did a good job of bending and not breaking, they struggled to get the ball out of their defensive third.

Racing Louisville really set the tone in the first half and it felt like the Royals were playing at RLFC’s pace.

Four minutes of stoppage time was added to the first half as Utah looked for a first-half equalizer.

The Royals did just that in the 48th minute.

BYU alum Olivia Griffitts scored her first NWSL goal off an assist from fellow rookie Sentnor. The pass found Griffitts on the right side of the box, she took a few steps before loading up and sent a heater towards the left-center.

RELATED: Former BYU Cougar Olivia Griffitts Scores First NWSL Goal With Utah Royals

Lund got a hand on the shot but it still found the back of the net.

Utah and Louisville went into the break tied at 1-1.

Second Half

The stoppage-time goal gave Utah some confidence when they got back out on the pitch.

Louisville dominated much of the first 45′ but that advantage was less apparent early in the second half.

The first 20 minutes of the half saw nothing but tough defense from both sides. There were five fouls and zero shots attempted during this stretch.

The first attempt of the half came in the 65th off the foot of Louisville’s Taylor Flint. Flint sent a missile toward the top shelf but Haught was able to punch it over the crossbar for her third save of the game.

Unfortunately for Utah, things went downhill from there.

Three minutes later, RLFC’s Savannah DeMelo was there for a cleanup in front of goal off of a Haught deflection to grab a 2-1 lead.

In the 75th minute, Madison Pogarch slid into the legs of Emma Sears on the right side of the box. After VAR review, Racing Louisville was given a penalty kick.

Once again, DeMelo found the back of the net to put Louisville up 3-1.

DeMelo took a shot at a hat trick in the 81st minute but missed to the left.

Sentnor took her first shot of the game a minute later after dribbling through the Louisville defense but Lund made a diving save on the right side.

Haught got her fifth save of the match in the 84th but the shots on goal kept coming in.

In the 87th, Carson Pickett found Reilyn Turner in front of goal and the header made it 4-1 for Louisville.

In the 91st, after eight minutes of stoppage time was added, rookie Emma Sears scored her first NWSL goal with a top-net heater from the right of the six-yard box.

Racing Louisville FC closed out the game with strong defense and picked up their first win of the season.

The Royals fall to 1-4 on the season and remain winless on the road with the 5-1 loss to RLFC.

How To Watch Utah Royals FC, NWSL Matches

The Royals will play 26 games in the 2024 season.

Live radio calls of every game can be found on KSLSports.com. Select games will be broadcast on the KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM/1160 AM).

Like many other leagues, the NWSL broadcasts its games on a handful of channels and platforms.

TV options include CBS, ESPN, and ION network. Streaming options include Prime Video, Paramount+, ESPN+, and NWSL+.

Prime Video will specifically carry Friday night matches and ION network will have Saturday night double-headers.

NWSL+ is free for everyone in the U.S. and can be downloaded on Apple, Fire, and Roku TVs. Sign up for NWSL+ here.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Shorthanded Utah Royals Drop Third Straight In Blowout Loss To Louisville