By MC Barrett
Following one of their most dominant performances of the season, the Boston Breakers will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Western New York Flash at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.
Currently fifth in the standings, Saturday’s match is a must–win for the Breakers (6-7-5, 23 pts) as they trail the fourth-place Flash (8-4-6, 30 points) by seven points with just four games remaining in the regular season. A win or draw keeps Boston in the running for the fourth and final spot in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoffs, while a loss would eliminate the Breakers from playoff contention.
The pressure is on, but if their latest outing is any indication, the Breakers are more than ready for the challenge. Boston’s offense broke out in an impressive 5-2 victory over the Washington Spirit last Saturday. Mariah Nogueira, Heather O’Reilly, Lianne Sanderson, Rhian Wilkinson, and Cat Whitehill each scored for the visiting Breakers, tying a franchise record for most goals scored in a single game. Goalkeeper Ashley Phillips recorded four saves to earn the victory on the road.
The Flash enter Saturday’s contest sporting a three-game unbeaten streak, including a 3-0 win over the Washington Spirit on Wednesday night. United States Women’s National Team players Abby Wambach (10 goals, 6 assists) and Carli Lloyd (6 goals) led the Flash offensively, while goalkeeper Adrianna Franch has played in net all but two minutes this season, recording five shutouts. Wambach’s 10 goals put her atop the NWSL’s scoring charts, tied for first with FC Kansas City’s Lauren Holiday and the Breakers’ own Sydney Leroux.
Saturday marks the third meeting between the Breakers and the Flash this season, with Boston holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The Breakers opened up the series with a 2-1 victory over the Flash on the road. O’Reilly tallied two goals in the win, later earning NWSL Player of the Week honors for her performance, while Mexican Women’s National Team goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago made her Breakers debut, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to earn a victory in goal at just 18 years old.
The Breakers and Flash tied the next meeting, 2-2, with the Flash getting a goal from Jodi-Ann Robinson in the last minute of stoppage time. Leroux and Sanderson each scored for the home-side Breakers, while Wambach gave the Flash an early lead, finishing in a header in the 28th minute.
This weekend’s match kicks off a grueling seven-day stretch in which the Breakers will play their final three home games of the 2013 NWSL season. Following Saturday’s match, the Breakers will host Portland Thorns FC at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 7, before facing FC Kansas City at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10. The Breakers will then travel to upstate New York to play the Flash in the final game of the 2013 regular season. That match will be played Aug. 17 and broadcast nationally on Fox Sports.
Saturday’s match against the Flash is sold out, but 300 standing room only tickets will be made available for purchase at the gate, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans wishing to follow the game online can watch all the action live at http://www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com/SCHEDULE/livestreams/742151.html.
Visit www.breakerstickets.com to purchase tickets for the final two home games of the 2013 season as well as 2014 season tickets, available now through Dec. 1, 2013, at a special discounted price.