(May 26, 2014) – Playing their third consecutive game at Harvard Stadium, there were to be no home comforts in the end for the Boston Breakers as they were beaten 2-0 by FC Kansas City. The result was the fourth loss in a row for the Breakers (1-6-0) but the score seemed a little harsh given a much-improved showing by the hosts. Goals for FCKC (4-4-3) came from defender Nikki Phillips in the 62nd minute and former Breakers forward Amy Rodriguez after 82.
Targeting a second win of the season, Boston welcomed an FCKC side who had already played ten games in this National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. England international Lianne Sanderson was pushed up front to partner Katie Schoepfer for the Breakers and the pair looked to combine early on as Schoepfer shot wide. The visitors responded with a header from defender Becky Sauerbrunn at the back post that just crept wide of the mark.
On nine minutes, the Breakers nearly had an opening goal to cheer. Nikki Washington burst forward from right-back and sent a dangerous cross into the box that caused confusion in the Kansas City defense and ricocheted back off the post. The first half was a fairly scrappy affair at times as both sides looked to move into the ascendancy but Boston went close on 27 minutes. A team move reached Schoepfer in the penalty area and after what seemed an eternity trying to get the ball under her control with defenders all around her she produced a great effort that was tipped over the bar by Nicole Barnhart.
There was very nearly a goal to cheer just a minute later as the resulting corner from Sanderson ended with a cross from the opposite side being headed in by Julie King, only for the official to signal it had gone out of play. FCKC responded with some goalmouth action of their own as midfielder Jen Buczkowski drove a low shot towards the bottom corner which Alyssa Naeher got down to push clear. Frances Silva headed onto the bar from a corner on 38 minutes but the game reached half-time with no goals.
Kansas City looked to get into the lead early in the second half but the contest was all square until minute. Nikki Phillips, up from the back, was the beneficiary of a corner eventually finding the 62nd its way through to her at the back post and she made no mistake as she tapped home for the lead.
Having more than made a case to go ahead in the game, Boston tried to hit back quickly. Schoepfer shot wide and Heather O’Reilly saw an effort saved by Barnhart. O’Reilly and Kristie Mewis both tried to equalize with shots from range and Schoepfer took one on the half-volley that ended just off-target. FCKC struck the telling blow with eight minutes of regulation time remaining though and they saw the game out from there. Buczkowski delivered a ball to the far post where the in-form Amy Rodriguez was there to notch her eight NWSL goal of the season.
The Breakers are back in home action this Wednesday June 28th when the Portland Thorns come to Harvard Stadium. Tickets are available at www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.
- By Chris Brookes
You can catch the full match below.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Boston Breakers vs. FC Kansas City
Date: May 25, 2014
Venue: Harvard Stadium, Boston, MA
Kickoff: 7:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM CT
Weather: Mid 60s, Partly cloudy
FC Kansas City
Nikki Phillips (Lauren Holiday)
Amy Rodriguez (Jen Buczkowski)
FCKC: Barnhart; Robinson, Sauerbrunn (C), Phillips, Mathias; Buczkowski, Richmond, Bogus (Silva 78' (Williams 90')), Holiday, Tymrak (Henderson 75'); Rodriguez
Subs not used: Keane, Kallman, Marlborough, Laddish
BOS: Naeher; Washington, Whitehill, King, Pathman; O'Reilly, Lohman, Grove (Reeves 75'), Mewis; Sanderson, Schoepfer
Subs not used: Kranich, Jones, Avant, D'Agostino, Stewart, Evans