(April 23, 2017) – The Boston Breakers opened their home schedule Sunday afternoon at Jordan Field in Allston, Mass., and it couldn’t have gone much better than it did.
In front of 2,329 fans, the Breakers beat Sky Blue FC, 1-0, getting a first-half goal from Natasha Dowie, some incredible play from goalkeeper Abby Smith, and a strong defensive effort in the victory. The win moves Boston’s record to 1-1-0.
“We said before the game we wanted to make this a difficult place for teams to come. We got a talented group here. We showed a different side to our game today. I thought we were better defensively. We weren’t as open,” Boston Breakers head coach Matt Beard said. “We’ve put a lot of work in this week on making sure the shape should be what it is because it wasn’t in Kansas City. I’m pleased. We want to pick up as many points at home as we can.”
The Breakers went on the attack early, wasting little time to get off their first shot on goal. It came less than two minutes into the game when Rosie White hit a free kick from 20 yards out, forcing Sky Blue FC keeper Kailen Sheridan to tip it over the bar. Five minutes later, Tiffany Weimer had a crack on goal from just outside of the box, but Sheridan was quick to the task to stop the dangerous shot. Adriana Leon also saw her effort denied by Sheridan. That came in the 16th minute.
Sky Blue FC had a couple decent looks on goal in the first half, the best coming in the 23rd minute when Kelley O’Hara flicked a header right in front of Breakers keeper Abby Smith, whose quick reaction to tip the ball over the bar led to one of four saves on the day.
The Breakers struck first, and it came in the 37th minute. Rose Lavelle dribbled up through the midfield and into the final third before finding Dowie open to her right. Dowie took a couple touches before smashing a shot past Sheridan for Boston’s first goal of the season.
The momentum was on Boston’s side again in the second half, and captain Julie King tried putting the Breakers ahead by two goals with a nifty header from a few yards out, but Sheridan was there. In the 66th minute, rookie Margaret Purce took a great ball from Lavelle, cut back on Christie Pearce, and nearly scored from just outside the 18, caroming a shot off the crossbar.
From there on out, it was strong play in midfield and the consistent effort from back line of King, Megan Oyster, Christen Westphal, and Allysha Chapman, who each played a solid 90 minutes, helping Smith preserve the shutout.
“It just felt good,” Dowie said. “It was a great crowd. I was pleased to obviously get the goal. Credit to Sky Blue, they are a very good team with talented players and had a good result last week. It was a massive three points for us. It gives us a bit of confidence. It takes us off the bottom of the table, and hopefully we can continue against Seattle Reign.”
The Breakers return to Boston on Saturday, April 29, at 7 p.m. ET to take on Seattle Reign FC. Tickets are available by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting breakerstickets.com.
Notes: No. 1 draft pick Rose Lavelle earned her first professional assist. It came on Natasha Dowie’s goal in the 37th minute … Second-year goalkeeper Abby Smith earned her first professional win and first pro shutout tonight … Rookies Lavelle, Margaret Purce, and Morgan Andrews saw minutes in their first home game … Tiffany Weimer earned her first start of the season … Julie King made her 2017 debut and wore the captain’s armband … All four of Natasha Dowie’s goals for the Breakers in her two seasons have come at Jordan Field. She scored three goals in 2016.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC
Date: April 23, 2017
Venue: Jordan Field, Allston, Mass.
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 61 degrees, sunny
1 2 F
BOS 1 0 1
SBFC 0 0 0
BOS – Natasha Dowie (Rose Lavelle) – 37’
BOS - 14-Abby Smith; 8-Julie King (C), 4-Megan Oyster, 20-Christen Westphal, 2-Allysha Chapman; 26-Angela Salem, 11-Rose Lavelle (25-Morgan Andrews, 82), 10-Rose White; 19-Adriana Leon (5-Amanda Da Costa, 75), 9-Natasha Dowie, 18-Tiffany Weimer (21-Margaret Purce, 63)
Subs not used: 15-Sammy Jo Prudhomme, 3-Brooke Elby, 30-Kylie Strom, 22-Ifeoma Onumonu
Head Coach: Matt Beard
SBFC - 1-Kailen Sheridan, 8-Erica Skroski, 22-Mandy Freeman, 3-Christie Pearce, 15-Kayla Mills (5-Maya Hayes, 63); 21-Leah Galton (73-Madison Tiernan, 71), 16-Sarah Killion, 11-Racquel Rodriguez (10-Daphne Corboz, 54), 6-Taylor Lytle; 20-Sam Kerr, 19-Kelley O’Hara
Subs not used: 27-Caroline Casey, 7-Nikki Stanton, 12-Kim DeCesare, 17-Domi Richardson, 33- Erin Simon, 2-McKenzie Meehan
Head Coach: Christy Holly
Stats Summary: BOS / SBFC
Shots: 9 / 9
Shots on goal: 6 / 4
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 7 / 11
Offside: 3 / 3
BOS – Angela Salem (caution, 86’)
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Wooten
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Felice
Fourth Official: Michael Dee