The Breakers wrapped up their three-game road trip Saturday night in New Jersey with a 0-0 draw against first-place Sky Blue FC. Both teams had their chances, and in the end, a brilliant performance by Breakers keeper Ashley Phillips preserved the point for the visiting Breakers.
The Breakers wrapped up their three-game road trip Saturday night in New Jersey with a 0-0 draw against first-place Sky Blue FC (9-3-4). Both teams had their chances, and in the end, a brilliant performance by Breakers keeper Ashley Phillips (five saves) preserved the point for the visiting Breakers in front of 1,279.
"I thought it was a good performance by Ashley and the defense," Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "I thought we dominated play in the first half. It was a good team performance against one of the best, if not the best team in the league. We’re looking to continue to improve and put ourselves in a playoff position."
The Breakers improved to 5-5-5 and extended their unbeaten streak to four. They pulled within three points of fourth-place Western New York (6-4-5). The Flash play at second-place Portland (8-4-2) on Sunday.
Phillips, who earned her third shutout of her professional career, the last one coming in 2010, was tested from the start, making her first save in the 2nd minute on a shot by Lisa De Vanna. Ten minutes later, she came all the way off her line and up to the edge of the box to cut down De Vanna on a partial breakaway.
Ashley Phillips was the difference in Boston’s 0-0 draw, making 5 saves (Photo by Mike Gridley)
The Breakers had a few chances early on, all by forward and National Women’s Soccer League leading scorer Sydney Leroux (10 goals). She hit two balls just past the far post (5th and 24th minutes) and in the 16th minute, broke through two defenders and into the Sky Blue box, only to be shielded from getting a good look on goal and ultimately dispossesed. Leroux put one on target in the 32nd minute, taking a swiftly played ball by Lianne Sanderson and cracking it on goal through traffic, but Sky Blue FC keeper Brittany Cameron came up with the stop.
In the 39th minute, Kyah Simon got in on the action with a blistering shot from 10 yards out, one that Cameron was forced to push over the crossbar. Cameron finished with three saves on the night.
Phillips came up big two times in the 51st minute, first racing out to break up Sophie Schmidt at the top of the box, seconds before punching a shot by Katy Freels over the bar. Two minutes later, Phillips denied Freels from close range, and in the 64th minute, she made a massive diving save on Danesha Adams. Phillips then stopped shots by Freels in minutes 74 and 87 to help Boston earn the point.
The Breakers went 1-0-2 on their road trip, tying both Sky Blue FC and Seattle Reign FC and beating Portland Thorns FC, 2-0.
"Whenever you are on the road, you want to steal points, and we were able to do that against three good teams," Cole said. "Hopefully we’re starting to play our best soccer as we get toward the end of the season."
The Breakers return home Sunday, July 21, to take on Portland Thorns FC. Purchase tickets at www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.