Breakers fall to Portland Thorns FC, 4-1, in season opener

(April 11, 2015) – The Boston Breakers opened up the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League season with a 4-1 loss Saturday night on the road to Portland Thorns FC.

In front of 13,386 at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., the Breakers threatened early but Portland keeper Michelle Betos was up to the task, stopping three dangerous shots on goal in the first 25 minutes. The first came in the second minute when Mollie Pathman sent a ball over the top to Kristie Mewis, who flicked a header on goal from close range.

After Portland took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on a goal by Sinead Farrelly, Betos stopped a pair of screamers from Boston, one from Mewis, the other coming from Katie Schoepfer, both from distance. Seconds prior to Farrelly’s goal, Breakers captain Kassey Kallman cleared a shot off the line by Allie Long. The first-year Breaker raced back after Long beat Naeher and just got a touch on the ball to prevent a goal.

Suzane Pires, left, tracks down Portland's Sinead Farrelly in Saturday's 4-1 loss

Portland took a 2-0 lead into halftime after getting a goal from Mana Shim, who slotted one past Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the 38th minute off an assist from Kendall Johnson.

Just past the hour mark, Breakers rookie and the club’s top acquisition in the 2015 NWSL College Draft, Stephanie McCaffrey scored her first professional goal. The Winchester, Mass. native and former Boston College star took a pass from Schoepfer just inside the top of the 18, turned and hit a right-footed strike to beat Betos far post to cut Boston’s deficit to 2-1. Portland added a pair of goals in the span of a minute, and both came from Long, assisted each time by Shim. The goals came in the 72nd and 73rd minutes.

The Breakers return to action on Sunday, April 26, at 5 p.m. ET against the Houston Dash. The match will mark the Breakers home debut at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium on the campus of Harvard University in Allston, Mass. To purchase tickets, visit www.breakerstickets.com.

Notes: Tonight marked the 60th start for defender Cat Whitehill as a member of the Boston Breakers … Katie Schoepfer made her 50th start in a Breakers uniform … Alyssa Naeher appeared in her 68th game playing for the Breakers, which is tops on the current roster. It was also her 67th start for the team … Stephanie McCaffrey, Rafinha, Ketlen, and Suzane Pires made their first professional starts in the U.S. tonight … Kassey Kallman donned the captain’s armband … In addition to McCaffrey, Rafinha, Ketlen, Pires, and Kallman, other players making their Breakers debut tonight included: Morgan Marlborough, Amy Barczuk, and Bia.

MATCH REPORT

Match: Boston Breakers at Portland Thorns FC

Date: April 11, 2015

Venue: Providence Park, Portland, Ore.

Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET

Attendance: 13,386

Weather: 50 degrees, cloudy

Lineups

BOS: Alyssa Naeher, Mollie Pathman, Kassey Kallman (c), Cat Whitehill, Maddy Evans, Katie Schoepfer (Morgan Marlborough 73’), Rafinha, Suzane Pires (Amy Barczuk 61’), Ketlen (Bia 61’), Kristie Mewis, Stephanie McCaffrey

Subs not used: Jami Kranich, Nkem Ezurike, Stephanie Verdoia, Rachel Wood

PTFC: Michelle Betos, Rachel Van Hollebeke, Kat Williamson (c), Emily Menges, Tobin Heath, Sinead Farrelly, McCall Zerboni, Kendall Johnson, Allie Long (Sarah Robbins, 88’), Meleana Shim (Courtney Niemiec, 87’), Alex Morgan (Jodie Taylor 75’)

Subs not used: Nadine Angerer, Kelsey Haycook, Kaylyn Kyle, Hanna Terry

GOALS                       1         2         F

Portland Thorns FC    2          2        4

Boston Breakers         0          1        1 

SCORING SUMMARY

Goal    Time   Team           Goal Scorer                  Assist

1          21       Portland         Sinead Farrelly             Kat Williamson     

2          38       Portland          Mana Shim                   Kendall Johnson              

3          63       Boston          Stephanie McCaffrey    Katie Schoepfer                  

4          71       Portland         Allie Long                      Meleana Shim

5          72       Portland         Allie Long                      Meleana Shim

Disciplinary Summary

BOS: Mollie Pathman (caution) 33

Referee: Margaret Domka

Assistant Referees: Veronica Perez, Des Miller

Fourth Official: Farhad Dadkho

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