(Aug. 14, 2014) - After controlling much of the play throughout their final road match of the season, the Boston Breakers conceded two corner kick conversions and fell to the Chicago Red Stars 2-0 at the Village of Lisle Wednesday evening.
The Breakers began putting pressure on the Chicago defense early in the first half, including an opportunity in the 25th minute when Lianne Sanderson broke past a Red Stars defender to earn a close range shot, and placed it just off frame.
Chicago answered with a handful of promising opportunities themselves as possession remained relatively even among both teams. Boston keeper Alyssa Naeher and NWSL Player of the Week was there to deny Chicago of any real shots on goal.
In the 30th minute, Boston conceded a corner kick after Naeher ousted a strong Chicago shot with a diving save over the cross bar. The Red Stars were able to capitalize on the opportunity as Alyssa Mautz headed one home to put her team up 1-0. Julie Johnston was credited with the assist.
Chicago remained in the lead going into the second half, but Boston came out strong on the hunt for an equalizer and produced several early opportunities.
In the 63rd minute, defender Bianca D’Agostino fired a shot from 35 yards forcing Red Stars keeper Karina LeBlanc to come up with a huge save.
Boston continued to control a great deal of the play throughout the second half, until the 81st minute when a Christen Press cross into the Boston box yielded another corner kick for Chicago.
Red Stars defender Jackie Santacaterina won the header out of the air and placed it towards goal. Defender Taryn Hemmings was standing on the line found Melissa Tancredi who found the back of the net with ease and put the Red Stars on top 2-0.
After a scoreless remainder and three minutes of stoppage time, the final score stood at 2-0 in favor of the Red Stars and Chicago earned the win they needed to remain in contention for a playoff slot. Red Stars goalkeeper LeBlanc earned her 5th shutout of the season.
The Red Stars will earn a spot with a win in their final regular season at home on Saturday as they take on the Western New York Flash. A win Saturday would guarantee Chicago at least 4th position in the playoffs and a trip to either Seattle or Kansas City, who hold the #1 and #2 slots, respectively.
For the Breakers, who are already out of playoff contention, just one match remains on the schedule as they head home to Harvard Stadium to take on the Houston Dash in their 2014 NWSL season finale. Fans can purchase tickets for the game from www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.