By Kathryn Leeber
(Aug. 12, 2017) — The Boston Breakers twice came back from one-goal deficits Saturday afternoon to pick up a point on the road, a 2-2 draw against the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Two goals from forward Adriana Leon, including a late, first-half equalizer, allowed the Breakers to earn a point on the road and move their record to 3-7-7. The Breakers are now unbeaten in two straight games and six of their last seven.
The Spirit (4-9-4) struck first as defender Estelle Johnson found an opening in the back line of Boston’s defense and put Washington up, 1-0, in the seventh minute. Her initial shot was saved by Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith, but Johnson was able to get the rebound and send the ball to the back of the net to take an early lead for the hosts.
Washington tried to extend its lead two minutes later with Havana Solaun sending the ball to Arielle Ship, who was able to get the shot off, but the ball went just wide of the net.
The Breakers had a free kick in the 16th minute, and Leon was on the receiving end of the kick, but her shot also went to the right of the goal.
Two minutes later, Solaun looked to score again following a pass from Mallory Pugh, but Smith had a close-range save to keep the Breakers in the game.
It wasn’t until the 33rd minute that Boston had another chance to score. Leon found an open Rosie White, who was able to get her head under the ball in an attempt to score, but her shot went wide. Pugh followed up shortly after for Washington with another attempt, but Smith again made a point-blank save.
The Breakers immediately turned and ran with the ball. Angela Salem sent a pass forward, and it fell to White’s feet, but her shot was saved by Spirit goalkeeper DiDi Haracic. This was Haracic’s lone save of the half, despite the Breakers having seven shots on goal.
In the 44th minute, Leon sent a pass to forward Katie Stengel who tried to get a shot off, but the ball was deflected by the Spirit defense. Leon was able to pick up the rebound and hit the ball past Haracic to tie the game, 1-1. It was Leon’s team-leading fourth goal of the season.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Washington tried to re-take the lead with a free kick taken by Pugh, but the ball hit the top of the crossbar.
With the match level at 1-1 after 45 minutes, both teams looked to add another goal in the second half and run away with the three points. Washington capitalized on some of its possessions. Pugh almost had a one-on-one opportunity to score in the 54th minute, but the ball got away from her feet and was cleared. Minutes late, Pugh had another chance as she sent the ball into the low, right-hand corner, but Smith knocked it away.
Pugh created another chance for the Spirit as she took a free kick for the team in the 58th minute, sending the ball to Shelina Zadorsky who got a shot off, but Smith was there to make the save. Shortly after, Estefania Banini sent a shot in towards the Boston goal, but Smith was able to hit it up near the crossbar. However, Cheyna Williams gathered the rebound and used her head to send the ball into the net, giving Washington the 2-1 lead in the 64th minute.
Nine minutes later, Pugh looked to make a run and was open for a pass, but Amanda Frisbee was there to clear it. The following minute, Kristie Mewis had a shot for the Spirit at the top of the box, but Smith was right in front of her to make the save.
Leon scored her second goal of the game, as well as the equalizer for the Breakers, in the 79th minute after Ifeoma Onumonu sent the pass to Leon, who was wide open in front of the net. It was Leon’s fifth goal of the season.
Smith made her ninth and final save in the 90th minute, as Washington sent a free kick to the top left corner, but Smith was able to clear it out.
Both teams had a chance to score in the final minute. The Spirit took a free kick, but the ball went off the crossbar again. Boston followed with an opportunity as Onumonu ran down the field and sent a pass to an open White, but her shot in the final few seconds went to the right of the net, ending the game at 2-2.
The Breakers return home Wednesday (Aug. 16) to take on the Houston Dash at Jordan Field at 7:30 p.m. ET and remain at Jordan Field to play Orlando Saturday, Aug. 19, at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets to all Boston Breakers home games are available by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting breakerstickets.com.
Notes: Rookie forward Ifeoma Onumonu registered her first professional assist. It came in the 79th minute on her service to Adriana Leon on the game-tying goal … Defender and captain Julie King extended her franchise record appearance total to 104 … The Breakers matched a career-high in ties for a season (7), which was previously reached in 2002 and 2003, both in the WUSA.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers at Washington Spirit
Date: Aug. 12, 2017
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Md.
Kickoff: 3:50 p.m. ET
Weather: 83 degrees, cloudy
1 2 F
BOS 1 1 2
WAS 1 1 2
WAS – Estelle Johnson – 7 ‘
BOS – Adriana Leon – 44’
WAS – Cheyna Williams – 64’
BOS – Adriana Leon (Ifeoma Onumonu) – 79’
BOS: 14-Abby Smith; 21-Margaret Purce, 8-Julie King (C), 4-Megan Oyster, 2-Allysha Chapman (17-Amanda Frisbie, 63); 26-Angela Salem, 25-Morgan Andrews (5-Amanda Da Costa, 55), 10-Rosie White; 19-Adriana Leon, 23-Katie Stengel, 18-Tiffany Weimer (22-Ifeoma Onumonu, 70)
Subs not used: 15-Sammy Joe Prudhomme, 9-Natasha Dowie, 7-Emilie Haavi
Head Coach: Matt Beard
WAS:: 21-Didi Haracic; 24-Estelle Johnson, 5-Whitney Church, 4-Shelina Zadorsky (C), 3-Caprice Dydasco; 10-Estefania Banini (19-Kristie Mewis, 67), 29-Meggie Dougherty Howard, 23-Tori Huster; 11-Mallory Pugh, 2-Arielle Ship (20-Cheyna Williams, 56), 9-Havan Solaun
Subs not used: 1-Stephanie Labbe, 6-Kassey Kallman, 8-Lindsay Agnew, 22-Alyssa Kleiner
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra
Stats Summary: BOS / WAS
Shots: 11 / 21
Shots on goal: 3 / 11
Saves: 9 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 16
Offside: 3 / 3
BOS – Angela Salem (caution, 94)
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: John Jr Griggs