Breakers brace for Western New York Flash

Travel to upstate New York for first road game of the season

The Boston Breakers head out to Western New York for Saturday’s game (7:35 p.m. ET start) against the Western New York Flash, two familiar foes with ties dating back to 2011 in Women’s Professional Soccer.

"We’re looking forward to getting back on the field and playing a game," Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "The Flash has always been a good team; they play a good game. It’ll be an exciting game on both sides of the ball."

The Breakers opened the 2013 NWSL season with a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit, a game in which forward Sydney Leroux scored with just seconds remaining in the game to secure the point for the host team.  In front of a sold-out crowd of 2,634 at Dilboy Stadium, the Breakers came back from an early 1-0 deficit to secure the equalizer.

This week, the Breakers travel to Rochester, N.Y. to take on the Flash in their first road game of the season. The Flash and Breakers are certainly no strangers. The teams’ rivalry dates back to 2011 in Women’s Professional Soccer. In 2012, they battled it out for the top spot in WPSL Elite, with the Breakers edging out the Flash for the regular season title with an 11-3-0 (30 points) record, three points above WNY’s 9-2-3 (30 points) mark. 

In 2012, the Breakers and Flash battled it out for the top spot in WPSL Elite, with the Breakers edging out the Flash for the regular season title with an 11-3-0 (30 points) record, three points above WNY’s 9-2-3 (30 points) mark. This year, both teams have a different look, with a couple similarities from last season. WPSL Elite’s top two scorers in 2012, Adriana for WNY (13 goals) and Boston’s Kyah Simon (12 goals) will take the field against one another Saturday night. Simon also will go up against her Sydney FC teammate, forward Samantha Kerr, who has scored one goal this season.

The Flash, however, are without the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, U.S. Women’s National Team star forward Abby Wambach, who suffered a head injury last week in WNY’s 1-1 draw with Washington. The Breakers have a tough task going forward as they try to get past WNY rookie keeper Adrianna Franch. The recent USWNT call-up has 11 saves in two games and has allowed only one goal against the opposition (a penalty kick at Washington; the goal in the 1-0 season-opening loss to Sky Blue FC was an own goal).

The Breakers bring a loaded attacking force to Rochester, led by Leroux, Simon, Katie Schoepfer, and Lianne Sanderson, all capable of scoring at will. Out on the flank, the Flash will have to contend with the speed and tenaciousness of U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Heather O’Reilly. Back on defense, the center back duo of Cat Whitehill and Kia McNeill will look to clamp down the WNY attack. 

Notes: The Breakers have signed keeper Colleen Boyd for Saturday’s game ... Defender Jo Dragotta is out with a minor ankle sprain, midfielders Kyah Simon (ankle) and Lisa-Marie Woods (quad) are both questionable. Defender Julie King (hamstring) is probable.

Saturday’s game will be streamed live on the Western New York Flash website beginning at 7:35 p.m. ET

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